Dunedin welcomes teams with traditional New Zealand 'haka'
The city of Dunedin threw a warm welcome for the FIFA Under-17 World Championships participants on Wednesday, even if the weather was overcast and muggy.
And it was the Paraguayan team who stole the show, with a rendition of the traditional New Zealand 'haka' that endeared themselves to their hosts.
The 'haka' is traditionally performed by New Zealand's fabled All Blacks rugby team, a traditional Maori dance and chant that is a challenge to the opposition and is performed right before the kick off of their matches.
Paraguay's young players, who have been in the country for two weeks already preparing for their opening game in group D on Friday against Qatar, performed their 'haka' almost flawlessly in the city hall after a welcoming speech by Dunedin's mayor, Mrs. Sukhi Turner.
It drew rapturous applause from the crowd that assembled in the hall after watching the procession by the four group D teams, Burkina Faso, Jamaica, Paraguay and Qatar, through the main street.
The four countries were lead by a pipe band from a city with deep Scottish roots and were given a traditional Maori welcome by a group of local school children.
Group D action kicks off in Dunedin on Friday with Jamaica meeting Burkina Faso first before Paraguay take on the Qataris.