The draw for the ever popular LaLiga/KwaMahlobo Games, set to take place from 21 December 2017 to 6 January 2018, was conducted at Sedibeng Pub and Eatery in Soweto on Tuesday, 28 November 2017.
The draw for the men’s, women and u13 teams was conducted by former Bafana Bafana captain, Aaron ‘Mbazo’ Mokoena.
Dating back to 1996, where it all started in Meadowlands, Soweto, the KwaMahlobo Games has grown year-on-year to attract the country’s top clubs and thousands of spectators to this illustrious community competition. This festive season, the tournament will give local soccer fans the chance to support their favourite community teams in a fiercely contested, highly entertaining and uniquely South African competition, while the games give up-and-coming players an invaluable platform to exhibit their skills and the chance to potentially set up their careers for future stardom.
This year’s final match has a special feature, with LaLiga President, Javier Tebas and SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan expected to attend.
Dr Jordaan said that LaLiga is one of the Association’s vital partners particularly with their recent involvement in the promotion of grassroots football which is key in galvanising the development of sport in the country.
“SAFA alone cannot cover every corner of the country, we need able partners like LaLiga to lend their hand in helping us grow this game to the next level,” said Dr Jordaan.
The SAFA President added that the Association would give its blessing to any football development venture LaLiga is looking at undertaking. This is especially since initiatives like the KwaMahlobo Games is where some future stars are born.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed; LaLiga has proven in the recent past that it is determined on joining SAFA in developing the sport in all spheres within the country and for that, we appreciate our partnerships with them.”
“Soccer is a game that heals, unites and uplifts all those who are involved,” said Antonio Barradas, Africa Director at LaLiga. “With our new office in Johannesburg and as the annual title sponsor for the KwaMahlobo Games, LaLiga aims to brings support and recognition to an important community-based soccer project that goes far beyond the tournament itself.
“Soccer, with this tournament as an excellent example, is a powerful catalyst in community change, by bringing together people through an authentic and entertaining home-grown event. It allows for upliftment of local teams and players through the camaraderie of sport, and keeping youngsters off the streets and out of trouble during the festive season and throughout the year. It also helps by giving them something to work toward, as individuals and as a unified squad along with their loyal supporters,” adds Barradas.
Tournament Director and founder of the KwaMahlobo Games, Patrick Ntenjwa thanked LaLiga for its involvement in the games, saying that the backing of such a prominent football brand will help elevate the event to even greater heights.
“The KwaMahlobo Games have a rich history in South African football. From the inaugural edition in 1996, the games have been a breeding ground for a number of talented footballers who have went on to represent the senior men’s and women’s national teams. With the involvement of LaLiga, we’re assured that the games will be greater than ever before,” said Ntenjwa.