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Two European soccer teams to be hosted in Mbombela for newly launched tournament

This newly launched tourney is dubbed the Mpumalanga Premier's International Tournament.

Following an incredible season, TS Galaxy, Mpumalanga’s pride and its sole campaigners in the country’s elite league, the DStv Premiership, is set to host two European-based teams in a newly launched tournament dubbed the Mpumalanga Premier’s International Tournament (MPIT).

The first of its kind to be hosted here in Mpumalanga at the 2010 Soccer World Cup stadium, this mini soccer tourney will see one of the Bundesliga’s rapidly growing soccer teams, FC Augsburg, taking part. These teams will be joined by another local soccer team to complete the four-team mini tournament scheduled for July during the league’s off-season period.

The Bundesliga is Germany’s primary football league and is home to some of the world’s best teams, such as Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, to name but a few. It is one of the top national leagues in the world, currently ranked fourth in Europe. This year marked the 13th season since FC Augsburg became part of it.

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Speaking to the media about the MPIT during a press conference held at the Mbombela Stadium, both Galaxy boss Tim Sukazi and FC Augsburg’s CEO, Michael Stroll, said their union is about more than just football, it’s about establishing new relationships that will benefit the province beyond this soccer competition.

“This tournament is not just about soccer, but more about bringing together different cultures. Besides football, the Germans are huge and strong in water reticulation systems, and this is one area in which we could learn from them,” said Sukazi.

TS Galaxy’s media officer, Ronny Moyo, during the press conference.

He said they are currently in talks with local soccer teams in a bid to rope them in to be part of the tournament. “We are also in talks with another European team to be part of this tourney. It is not every day you get European teams coming to our shores, willing to test one another while at the same time giving local football supporters a taste of both worlds’ football.”

TS Galaxy has seen some tremendous growth in terms of their support base and level of football since they became part of the Premiership. They just had one of their best seasons ever, after finishing on the sixth spot on the Premiership table.

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Stroll, who had taken the long trip to Mbombela to be part of the media session in preparation for this tournament, said his players and technical team back in Germany were excited to be coming to South Africa.

The South African DStv Premiership is one of Africa’s top leagues. Supporting this tournament are the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) and the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation. The MTPA board’s chairperson, Victor Mashego, said hosting such an international tournament will definitely come with huge perks and spin-offs for the province.
Sukazi will announce the two remaining teams to join the four-team tourney at a later date.
The semi-finals of this tournament is billed for July 20, with the finals to be played at the Mbombela Stadium on July 27.

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