Zuma to play in Special Olympics Cup squad

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Saturday will swap his suit for a soccer kit when he plays in the Special Olympics Unity Cup.

Zuma, as captain of his team, will lead an illustrious list of celebrities and football legends who will participate alongside 16 Special Olympics athletes in Cape Town before the World Cup quarter final match against Argentina and Germany.

For those, who have tickets to the Argentina and Germany match, can catch the President and his team as they take to the pitch at 14:00.

In a statement, Zuma said he is greatly honoured to have the opportunity to play in the squad.

"I am excited to participate in the first Unity Cup so that I can witness first hand the skill of the Special Olympics athletes, share their joy and demonstrate the importance of inclusion to leaders from all over the world. This World Cup tournament has been so exciting that I felt I cannot miss an opportunity to get onto the pitch myself'," said President Zuma.

The Cup is aimed at acknowledging the changing power of football for those with intellectual disabilities, to support the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities.

The Presidency said Zuma will participate to "demonstrate that South Africa is committed to ensuring that the freedom that was won in 1994 is enjoyed by all South Africans, including those with intellectual disabilities who even today, around the world, are denied access to education, sports, healthcare and employment."

Zuma's team will include among others, former Bafana skipper Lucas Radebe, former New Castle United player Alan Shearer, Clarence Seedorf of AC Milan, Chinese actress and Special Olympics Global Ambassador Zhang Ziyi, NBA legend and Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo and former Mexican striker Enrique Borja.