Soccer brings peace, unity in Africa: Mugabe

08:57, May 27, 2010      

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Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe said Tuesday that Africa is proud to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup that kicks off in South Africa on June 11.

The president made the remarks during celebrations to mark Africa Day.

"As Africans we are proud to host, for the first time, the soccer World Cup that starts in South Africa in just over two weeks' time," he said.

Mugabe hailed the unifying role of soccer, saying it had fostered an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among African people thereby contributing to peace and security on the continent usually known for conflicts, political strife and famine.

"While ethnic and religious differences have sparked sectarian conflicts in Africa, soccer more than any other sport has helped people to look beyond their differences and celebrate ...," Mugabe said.

As South Africa's neighbor, Zimbabwe is hoping to cash in on spillover business from the host country including through tourist inflows.

Africa Day is commemorated on May 25 every year to celebrate the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now African Union which helped African countries to gain political independence from Western colonial rule.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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