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South African U18 men's football team in London preparing for the U18 men's World Cup

The South African U18 men's football team departed for London last weekend for fixtures against their English and Brazilian counterparts. The planned matches are part of the teams' preparations for the U18 men's World Cup taking place in India at the beginning of October 2017.

The team of 20 players and 13 officials was assisted by the United Kingdom Immigration and Visa (UKVI) centre in Pretoria last week to prepare their final travel documents.

They recognised the tour as a unique opportunity for developing and exposing the young players to international football.

Recent sporting fixtures hosted by SA and the UK with participation of the other nation includes that of the English and Welsh teams in the U19 International Series development tour to Cape Town and the tour of the SA cricket team the Proteas, to England. South Africa's Athletics team also came third behind the US and Kenya in the AIIF championships in London in July.

The Springbok rugby team will head to the UK in November for this year's Autumn International Rugby Matches.

High Commissioner Nigel Casey said: Sport has brought our two peoples together on the field, in schools and in development programmes. The British Council Premier Skills programme draws on the appeal of the Premier League to help coaches across South Africa develop leadership skills and empowers grass-roots coaches to achieve greater goals in their communities. Similarly the former UK/SA Rugby Exchange programme has allowed disadvantaged players, coaches and administrators to learn from each other since 2002, with a number of them making huge advances in their careers.

Distributed by APO on behalf of British High Commission Pretoria.
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