Man City for Madiba tourney

2013-06-21 00:00

FOLLOWING the successful hosting of English Premier League champions Manchester United last year, Durban welcomes Manchester City from July 11 to July 21.

Billed as the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational, City will play matches against SuperSport United at Loftus Versfeld on July 14 at 3 pm, and on Mandela’s birthday, July 18, meet AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida stadium at 8 pm.

For their entire visit, City will be based in Durban, using the trip as pre-season training. Besides their two matches, they will have coaching clinics, be involved in a community project and have time to enjoy Durban’s activities.

Tour promoter Lyndon Barends said: “Bringing Manchester United here last year was a huge success on the sport and economic front. They played AmaZulu in Durban before a sellout crowd and the economic benefit to Durban was massive.

“It’s not only about bringing a great football side to Durban. It’s about celebrating the legacy of Madiba Magic, using soccer to bring people of different cultures together. We are confident that the teams involved will bring the fans to the stadiums and we look forward to a successful visit …”

AmaZulu spokesperson Philani Mabaso said the club were excited and honoured to play against another of England’s powerhouse clubs. “As a club, we are excited to play against City and playing on Madiba’s 95th birthday is the icing on the cake,” he said.

“This is an opportunity for our coach, Craig Rosslee, to look at the team and give new players a run. We will also sport new kit and the exposure we get from such a game puts the club on the map.”

Newly appointed SuperSport coach Cavin Johnson said his team were equally privileged and it was an honour to play the match in Mandela’s honour.

“On Mandela Day, people in this country are asked to give 67 minutes of their time for community work. In that light, I predict the score in our game to be 34-33 to my team,” he joked.

Open training sessions will be held ahead of both games, allowing fans to get close to the teams and see the players in action.

Ticket prices are R150, R250 and R350. These are available through Computicket, as is access to the open training sessions, and will be accessible from June 24.

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