African leaders to restate support to 2010 World Cup

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- African leaders will make a solid commitment to holding the first-ever World Cup on the continent in 2010 in South Africa when they convene here 29 January for their annual summit, a top African Union (AU) official said here Wednesday.
Bience Gawanas, the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, said the African leaders will make a public support for the 2010 World Cup when they also declare 2007 the Year of African Football.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter is due here for the launch of the Year of African Football on Sunday, which will be marked by a ceremonial match between the Ethiopian and South African Under-15 teams.
South African President Thabo Mbeki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi are expected to attend the launch, alongside Africa's leading sports personalities, including Roger Milla of Cameroon, Hossam Hassan of Egypt and Abede Pele of Ghana.
"The leaders of the 53 member states will dedicate support to South Africa in ensuring that the World Cup is not moved out of Africa," Gawanas told a news conference.
South Africa is working towards the launch of a three-year post-World Cup legacy project, which will ensure the World Cup leaves an indelible mark in the continent, Gawanas said.
Ethiopia proposed the launch of the Year of African Football during the AU summit in Khartoum, Sudan and the declaration was adopted.
The African leaders are due to launch the Football Year in Ethiopia to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
"CAF has placed African football on the world map," Gawanas said.
Several activities, including training workshops for African soccer managers, are slated across the continent to mark the Year of African Football.

24 january 2007 16:02:00

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