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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Zambian Captains the African Legends

Zambian national soccer team technical director Kalusha Bwalya on Saturday January 7 2006 was captain of the African Legends team that played against the European Legends. This was a soccer game of former football greats from Africa and Europe who enjoyed a social game of football to raise funds.

Kalusha Bwalya is Zambia’s football icon and runs Kalusha Bwalya foundation for grass root soccer to train the youth in football skills and HIV/AIDS awareness.

Bwalya was among former Newcastle United coach and Dutch soccer great Ruud Gullit, Hristo Stoitchkov (Bulgaria), Frenchman Christian Karembeu and Welshman Ian Rush in the African Legends versus European Legends match at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park stadium.

Tournament director Emy Casaletti said the purpose of the match was to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Nelson Mandela is the world’s most popular former prisoner and the first black president of South Africa. To day he runs the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

These football giants participated in the Legends match at Ellis Park in South Africa not to receive match fees but to pay respect to Nelson Mandela and to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

A good example is Mr. Gullit. In 1987 he dedicated his world player of the year award to the then imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Before traveling to South Africa Gullit had this to say, “I have great respect for Nelson Mandela and I can’t wait to be in South Africa. I’m also impressed with the high standard of African football,”

“We are going to dish out entertaining football and we will score many goals. But it will not be an easy march because we will be up against quality African players,”

However, Gullit told a South African tabloid that his side would score enough goals to upset the Jomo Sono coached African Legends team.

And true to his word the European Legends beat African Legends 3 to 1.

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