News24

Cup pits public against Pros

2013-02-11 22:56

Johannesburg - The winners of the 2013 Nedbank Cup will take on a soccer side assembled from members of the public, it was announced on Monday.

The public team's 18 players would be determined by a public vote on a reality television series, Nedbank said of the one-off innovation.

Only people between the ages of 18 and 35, from all nine provinces, would be eligible to enter and would be trained by professional players and "soccer legends".

After the match, if they proved good enough, they would be open to offers from professional clubs.

"As government, we associate ourselves with initiatives like this," Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula said at the announcement in Sandton.

"We like to inject life and purpose to those without. They are going to make a young person in the dusty street have hope."

Mbalula said soccer would be the best platform for this type of initiative.

"Football is the number one sport in our country. Let's revolutionise sport," he said.

"We must build our own talent so we can have a stronger team, so we can be competitive.

"The most important aspect is unravelling and nurturing talent. We want role-models, not losers."

SAPA