Red Devils head for South Africa

2012-06-13 15:03

As reported in City Press on Sunday, the organisers today confirmed that Manchester United will be in South Africa next month to play PSL sides AmaZulu and Ajax Cape Town.

The 19-time English champions will face Usuthu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on July 18 and go on to face the Urban Warriors on July 21 at the Cape Town Stadium.

The first match falls on former president Nelson Mandela’s birthday and the organisers have made a link with Primedia Sport CEO Lyndon Barends saying: “We urge people to come in great numbers to spare 90 minutes for Madiba’s 94th birthday. The crowd will be asked to sing ‘Happy Birthday Madiba’ at some stage of the match,” he said.

Tickets will sell for between R150 and R350 for both matches.

Present at the launch at the Da Vinci Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, were Barends, United’s director of communication Philip Townsend, former player Quinton Fortune, Ajax’s George Comitis and councilor Grant Pascoe from Cape Town.

Asked what legacy the tour would leave, Barends said there will be nothing as tangible as infrastructure but said Man United will hold a coaching clinic for 32 school kids as well as have open training sessions where local coaches, players and the general public can watch and learn.

Comitis said: “Football is a big unifier and we hope to bring people together with this match.

“It’s an unbelievable opportunity for Cape Town fans to be able to see Manchester United players on their door-step. It is a special moment in our football.”

As usual on such tours, Townsend summed it up when he said: “The coach will bring the strongest squad. He will possibly bring a few new signings and young players as well.”

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