The Albirrojas depart for Gauteng

2010-06-29 00:00

THE uMgungundlovu District Municipality had a brief get-together with the Albirrojas on Sunday evening to say bon voyage before the team left for Pretoria yesterday.

The Paraguayans, having had to adapt to varying altitudes on their extensive travels, have decided to relocate to Tshwane so that they can be closer to the venues where they will play most of their matches for the rest of the World Cup.

With the Woodridge Country Hotel near Michaelhouse in Balgowan having been a base camp for the Paraguay national team, the district municipality believed it was important to bid farewell to their visitors and strengthen economic ties beyond the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee spoke at length to Gerardo Martino, Paraguay’s head coach, about the importance of continuity in strengthening the sporting and economic ties between the two nations.

The district municipality manager, Sibusiso Khuzwayo, urged the team to do even better “right through to the final”. He assured the Paraguayans that the people of KwaZulu-Natal are behind their team all the way.

Martino said: “We have left all of our contact details with the owners of the Woodridge Country Hotel, so that we continue to communicate with you on a variety of issues that will take us forward beyond the 2010 World Cup.”

Alistair and Sue McGlashan, owners of the Woodridge Country Hotel, were excited about their success in hosting the South American football team.

“The team was so happy to be here with us; however, because of the fact that most of the games they will be playing next are either in Pretoria or Johannesburg, the Paraguay management felt it would be easier on the players if they move up to Gauteng province,” Sue McGlashan said.

“They played so good because they stayed so good,” joked her husband.

Paraguay will be staying at Leriba Lodge in Centurion, which was the base camp for the Italian soccer team.

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