Paraguay in action at Harry Gwala

2010-05-12 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG residents will be given the opportunity to see a World Cup side in action next month.

Paraguay, who will be staying at the Woodridge Country Hotel in the Midlands, will be using the newly revamped Harry Gwala Stadium as one of its training venues, and the public are urged to attend.

Residents will also be treated to two matches at Harry Gwala on Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6.

The Saturday match will see a Paraguayan U20 side (who are travelling with the seniors) take on an uMgungundlovu U20 side, while a Fifa-sanctioned practice match for the Paraguayan senior side will take place on the Sunday.

This was part of the message that emerged from a briefing held by the uMgungundlovu District Municipality at the stadium yesterday.

Woodridge owner Alistair McGlashen, who was one of the speakers in attendance, assured those present that his team is ready to host the Paraguayans, who arrive at the hotel on June 3.

“I think I was among one of the first people to approach Fifa about the possibility of hosting a World Cup team, and we’re very happy to have made it happen,” McGlashen said.

“When Paraguay recently visited the Harry Gwala Stadium they were delighted to have such a world-class venue so near to them.”

uMgungundlovu District Municipality Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee stressed the importance of the World Cup to South Africa, and urged uMgungundlovu residents to show their support for the Paraguayan national side during its stay.

“We must be ready to market our own city during this time,” he said.

“It is up to all of us to make sure that we come to the party when hosting Paraguay and, in doing so, remind each other of what a great district we are all a part of.”

The briefing also saw municipal manager Sbu Khuzwayo provide insight into uMgungundlovu’s “2010 Activation Plan”.

The initiative, launched at Friday’s street carnival in Pietermaritzburg, aims to develop a strategic partnership involving the Office of the Premier, the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department, the Paraguayan national team and the Woodridge Country Hotel.

Khuzwayo said the Paraguayans will be welcomed by a team of Zulu dancers at King Shaka International Airport when they touch down on June 3.

The Paraguayans have also agreed to dedicate one day of their stay to interacting with the local community.

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