The Football for Hope Festival, which will take place in the Alexandra township in Johannesburg from 4 to 10 July 2010, reached an important milestone today, 25 March, with the official site inauguration. Among the many guests attending the site inauguration were Johannesburg’s member of the mayoral committee for community development, Bafana Sithole, 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa CEO Dr Danny Jordaan and streetfootballworld Managing Director Jürgen Griesbeck.
“For the first time, the social dimension of the game will be celebrated as an official element of the FIFA World Cup,” said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, who could not be present at the inauguration due to other commitments, in a message. “We hope that the eyes of the world will be on Alexandra and we will create new heroes for this community.”
“More than most, South Africans understand the importance of social development and the power of sport to influence positive social change, so the Football for Hope Festival is a key initiative for us. The world’s best footballers will be in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup, but we believe the equally deserving footballers and incredible stories from around the world also warrant global recognition and we encourage people to come and attend the festival in Alexandra,” said Dr Jordaan.
“From the minefields of Cambodia to the slums of Nairobi, football can bring hope to the lives of young people,” said Jurgen Griesbeck. “This festival will be a celebration of the people who dedicate their lives to helping others in their community using the game we all love.”
Thirty-two teams of boys and girls from disadvantaged communities worldwide will gather in Johannesburg for a festival of education, culture and football during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The young people are selected for their contribution to building a better future in their communities.
The names of the boys and girls who will be representing Alexandra were announced at the inauguration of the site of the Football for Hope Festival today. The ceremony also included a star appearance from 2010 FIFA World Cup™ mascot Zakumi, and an “All Stars” football match featuring, amongst others, African football celebrities such as Brian Baloyi and Alfred Maimane Phiri.
The Football for Hope Festival is an official event of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is organised by FIFA, streetfootballworld, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa and the City of Johannesburg.