Pretoria (Agenzia Fides) – “We want to involve all South Africans in the world, especially those who remain on the margins of this event,” Antoine Soubrier of the Communications Office for the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) told Fides. “So, we’ve organized a parallel World Cup, to compliment the official one, with the soccer teams from all the realities of South Africa, from the townships to the more affluent neighborhoods.”

“The aim is to bring together fans of different social classes, different ethnicities, and national origins as well as fans from all over the world. This Soccer Peace Tournament has an international dimension. 64 players from about 15 countries will play every Saturday at 9.00 am from June 5th to July 3rd in the poorest part of the Township, on a locally designed football pitch. Four teams will be created out of the two best teams of Atteridgeville (Pretoria) and migrants living in South Africa and fans coming for the World Cup. The final will take place on July 3rd,” said Soubrier.

“In this way the South Africans can get to know each other better. In the last tournament, there were white South Africans who set foot for the first time in a township. And the results are very positive. We place much hope in this initiative to promote peace and understanding among all,” says Soubrier.
“Among the participants there are also immigrants and refugees living in South Africa in a difficult situation. Several fans from countries such as France, the United States and Turkey have applied to join the Peace Tournament and the life of the local church during their stay in South Africa. We are confident that this will bring new spiritual wealth to South Africa, throughout Africa and the rest of the world,” says Antoine Soubrier. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 10/06/2010)