Countdown begins towards Macufe Cup 2011

2011-09-27 12:53

Kaizer Chiefs insist that they will take a “strong team” to the Macufe Cup on October 9.

They will face Bloemfontein Celtic, who are defending champions of the yearly tournament – hosted by the Mangaung municipality as part of the African cultural festival – which was launched here today.

Amakhosi has released 10 of their players to Bafana Bafana and the Zimbabwean national teams for the crunch round of the CAF African Cup of Nations qualifiers next weekend.

The players are Itumeleng Khune, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro; while Tinashe Nengomasha, Jimmy Jambo, Thomas Sweswe, Willard Katsande and Lincolin Zvasiya have been requested by the Warriors.

Celtic will also be minus rising defender Erick Mathoho, who made his Macufe Cup debut last season.

However, Chiefs team manager Bobby Motaung said: “We have a squad of 31 players and we will still have a strong squad to play in the Macufe Cup.

This is the tournament that launched Knowledge Musona and I believe other players will use the chance to stake their claim in the team in the absence of those whom we have released to the national teams.”

Celtic’s media liaison Petros Augousti said: “We believe this tournament will help us to maintain our rhythm. Last season, we went 14 games unbeaten after winning the cup and we hope it will bring the same run of luck this time around.”

Celtic face Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership clash at Loftus Stadium in Pretoria tonight while Chiefs will host Golden Arrows at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane tomorrow.

Other than soccer, boxing has also been included in the line-up of the eight-day event where more than 700 artists will perform in 88 music and theatrical events.

There is also the Standard Bank Macufe Golf Challenge.

The Free State government said it has budgeted R40 million for the cultural festival, which starts on October 1 until October 9.

“We have themed this year’s event ‘towards greater celebrations’”, said Free State MEC for sport Dan Kgothule.

“This is an opportunity to give our people in the province a platform to perform with international stars,” he said.

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