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SOCCER: Nigeria, South Africa host world soccer in 2009 and 2010

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SOCCER: Nigeria and South Africa host world soccer fests in 2009 and 2010

By Lavinia Mahlangu.

Special to USAfrica and CLASSmagazine.

It’s official! In 2009 and 2010 the world will be treated to a spectacular soccer experience in Africa, as

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Africa map

FIFA announced Egypt and Nigeria would host world cup youth soccer tournaments in 2009. FIFA’s Executive Committee has agreed that in 2009, Egypt would host the FIFA under 20 World Cup and that Nigeria would host the FIFA under 17 World Cup. The Nigerian government has already submitted the necessary guarantees to FIFA, assuring that it can host a successful event. “With South Africa hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup in the same year, it promises to be a busy one for the African continent, but also an extremely exciting one,” the world football governing body said on its website.

Both Nigeria and Egypt have hosted FIFA junior events in the past. In 1997 Egypt hosted the U-17 World Cup, with Brazil, inspired by a young Ronaldinho emerging as the winners. Nigeria hosted the U-20 event two years later. This time Spain took the laurels, with many of the stars of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany on display, including Esteban Cambiasso, Rafael Marquez, Xavi and the irrepressible Ronaldinho.

In 2010, South Africa will host the biggest soccer event of them all, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, set to take place at ten stadia in nine cities across the country.

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