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Dukwana Launches Free State Premiers Cup in Bloemfontein

by Free State Central News
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Premier Mxolisi Dukwana officially launched the Free State Premiers Cup in the Bon hotel, Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

Free State Premier Mxolisi Dukwana

Premier Mxolisi Dukwana officially launched the Free State Premiers Cup in the Bon hotel, Bloemfontein on Wednesday. The launch brought together officials from the South African Football Association (SAFA), the Office of the Premier, and the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, alongside Free State ABC Motsepe League soccer teams.

Premier Mxolisi Dukwana officially launched the Free State Premiers Cup in the Bon hotel, Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
Premier Mxolisi Dukwana officially launched the Free State Premiers Cup in the Bon hotel, Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

The occasion saw Premier Dukwana, accompanied by the Executive Mayor of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality Gregory Nthatisi and Sport HOD Steve Tshabalala, unveil the eagerly anticipated tournament logo, trophy, and the official playing kits.

This inaugural tournament is set to create a spectacle from March 22 to March 30, with the final 16 teams of the provincial ABC Motsepe League poised to compete fiercely for the title.

Premier Dukwana expressed his enthusiasm about the tournament’s role in bolstering local soccer clubs, “The tournament is not only about competition but also about nurturing the growth of local soccer clubs, both financially and competitively. By offering prize monies ranging from R25,000 to R200,000 and a standard participation fee of R100,000 for all teams, the tournament aims to ensure the sustainability and longevity of participating clubs.”

Mathaithai, BFN Celtic FC, and other notable names such as FC Blackcross, D’General, and African Warriors FC were listed among the elite teams set to light up the tournament with their football prowess.

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Dukwana Launches Free State Premiers Cup in Bloemfontein 4

Premier Dukwana, lamented the plight of Bloemfontein Celtic supporters who have felt a deep connection with their team. “It saddens me so deeply to see Bloemfontein Celtic supporters wearing their beloved teams regalia to just have picnics. This just shows how deep the love of soccer goes and just how much the team meant to the Siwelele faithful, it was the anchor of their lives. This propelled us to realize the role of government, which is to ensure that the environment is conducive for each of us to realize our best potential,” shared Dukwana.

He emphasized the importance of nurturing home-grown talent and maintaining a competitive edge in the sporting fraternity. “It may just be a business deal to the highest bidder if one ever buys a teams status and brings it to Bloemfontein, but developing teams and seeing their ups and downs is not only beautiful to see but gives patriotism a great platform,” Dukwana added.

The Free State government views the annual event as a catalyst for promoting sports as an industry within the province, with plans on the horizon to incorporate other sporting disciplines. The competing teams are set to proudly display the tournament logo on their jerseys when they take to the field at Petrus Molemela Stadium in just two days.

Mr Linda Zwane, SAFA’s vice president, praised the initiative, “SAFA is grateful for the bold step taken by Premier, after coming to Free State to get an understanding the state of soccer in the Free State, we noted that finance or the lack thereof plays a huge role in the absence of development of the sport. This is pacesetter moves and this shows that the FSPG has its ear on the ground and understands the needs of its people. The uncomfortable place that is soccer without the Free State will soon be a thing of the past.”

Furthermore, SAFA called on the Free State government to prioritize women’s football, highlighting its significance in the development of the sport.

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