PMB may host Ghana

2009-12-02 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG is on the verge of snaring a team to use the Harry Gwala Stadium as its training venue in next year’s 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The Ghana Football Federation has shown an interest in having its national side use the city as its base camp.

However, Pietermaritzburg is competing with Richards Bay in trying to attract the Ghanaian national side.

The Ghana Football Federation yesterday went on a tour of the city to inspect its facilities. The tour was also conducted in Richard’s Bay.

The tours are a follow-up to the visit by KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, to Ghana recently in an effort to convince the national team to set up camp in KwaZulu-Natal. The visit to Ghana was facilitated by the Office of the Premier, which invited the Ghanaian team to the pro­vince.

On Sunday, during the first official match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the delegation met Msunduzi Muni­cipality Mayor, Zanele Hlatshwayo.

The mayor said the delegation showed an interest in inspecting facilities in Pietermartizburg.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Ghana Football Association technical director Francis Oti Akenteng said the delegation was warmly welcomed by people of KwaZulu-Natal.

Akenteng said Ghanaian suppor­ters are ready to set up camp in the province.

Asked about the delegation’s impression of Pietermaritzburg, he said he would love the team to use the city as a base camp, adding that he already sees himself coming back to the city for the World Cup.

The delegation will submit a report to its national team about their tours and Akenteng said he will urge the team to set up in the city.

Hlatshwayo met the delegation again in the Office of the Premier. She said that the meeting was largely a briefing on the delegation’s feedback about the city’s facilities.

“The delegation liked our city and they said that they already have supporters here.”

In 2006’s World Cup in Germany, the Black Stars — as the Ghana national side is also known — reached the se­cond round of the World Cup in a group that featured Italy, the United States and the Czech Republic. They were knocked out by Brazil.

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