Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak LATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Players turn up the heat on Australian Open weather policy Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netKiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal go way back, winning three titles during their high school days in Ateneo then teaming up again to steer the senior’s team to two more crowns.But on Friday, it seemed like they were never on the same side when the two former teammates surprisingly clashed as NLEX and San Miguel faced off in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.ADVERTISEMENT Pessumal said that he doesn’t pay much attention on who is defending him during the games.“It’s just like any other game. When I play, I don’t see who’s guarding me. I just play and I play to win all the time,” he said as the 6-foot-2 guard has been making the most of the opportunities given to him and the bench crew by coach Leo Austria.“We know that our starting five is probably the best in the PBA. I don’t wanna say ever, but it’s up there. So when we come in, us bench guys have to sustain the level of excellence that they have. Our job is when we get in, we should bring the level higher so when the starters come back, the game will be easier for them.”Consider this a fair warning from Pessumal though. Whether or not he shares a past with any other player, once that ball tips on the court, his goal is one thing only: to help San Miguel win.“I’m a professional basketball player. I’m not here to make any friends,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Early in the fourth quarter, Ravena blocked Pessumal’s fastbreak layup and left his ex-Blue Eagle comrade with a staredown as he slowly got back on his feet.Seemingly irate, the Beermen gunslinger waited as his teammates recovered for the possession, and when Marcio Lassiter heaved a three-pointer, Pessumal rushed to get a rebound and gave Ravena a hard shove at the 9:50 mark of the fourth frame.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe 24-year-old swingman, however, downplayed the scuffle which merited him a flagrant foul penalty one.“It’s part of the game. I don’t wanna say anything. It’s not a big deal,” he said after finishing with 10 points in San Miguel’s 109-98 win over NLEX. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina View comments
A Guyana-registered vessel has been intercepted in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI) with a total of 43.18 kilograms (95 pounds) of cocaine concealed in Thin-Set Cement.News reports out of the BVI stated that on July 18, three pallets containing 200 bags of Thin-Set Cement was found on the vessel Krautsand after it docked at Port of Purcell. The boat arrived from Trinidad and Tobago.The seizure was part of a joint operation involving both the Police and Customs Department of the BVI. The vessel reportedly left Guyana in mid-June for Trinidad and Tobago.There has been no information released on the owner of the vessel as the investigations are ongoing. Attempts to get a comment from the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) proved futile on Tuesday.On March 19, 2019, four Guyanese were sentenced in St Croix District Court, US Virgin Islands for possession of cocaine on board a vessel.They are Neville Jeffrey, 70; Mohamed Hoseain, 66; Richard La Cruz, 51, and Mark Anthony Williams, 32.It was reported that District Court Judge Wilma A Lewis sentenced Jeffrey to 48 months, Hoseain to 36 months, La Cruz to 30 months and Williams to 27 months.Lewis also sentenced each defendant to two years of supervised release, but ordered that they be deported upon release from incarceration. She further ordered them to pay a special assessment of US$100 each and did not impose a fine.They all pleaded guilty to cocaine possession charges in November and December of 2018. According to plea agreements filed with the court and statements at the sentencing hearing, the US Coast Guard Cutter Napier intercepted a suspicious vessel in a joint operation with the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard approximately 70 nautical miles north of Paramaribo, Suriname, in international waters, on February 16, 2017.
The Antiochian Orthodox Church follows a certain formula, as do Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, to determine the Sunday when Pascha is celebrated. Most years, Pascha doesn’t coincide with churches that follow the Western date, such as Roman Catholic, Lutheran or Anglican churches. Pascha is always celebrated on the Sunday that comes after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox, but also after the Jewish observance of Passover has begun. The Antiochian Orthodox Church has the distinction of being the first church whose members were called Christians. This venerable church has its roots in Antioch, now called Antakya, in southern Turkey, and was founded, it is said, by the apostles Peter and Paul. The current headquarters of the Antiochian Orthodox Church is Damascus, Syria. The congregation of St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church, whose services use 95 percent English, will participate in the ancient and dramatic pageantry of the Pascha service tonight beginning with a candlelight procession from a darkened church sanctuary out to a starlit sky. “We go around the church and stand at the front doors. The congregation is singing the Paschal Canon. The priest pounds on the door and there is a dialogue with someone who represents Satan behind the doors,” Baclig said. “When the doors finally open, everyone sees the lights are on and the candles are lit. And the chandelier is swinging. Why? Because that signifies that an earth-shaking event has happened.” The potent audiovisual experience of the Resurrection service also includes the church’s icons’ doors being opened, when they are normally shut, and a bay leaf-strewn floor, from the morning Saturday service, that signifies the presence of a king, Jesus. “You can’t enter the church and not see that something spectacular has happened. All of the things we see are all there to exemplify that the Resurrection was life-changing. The message of Pascha is focused on Christ’s victory over darkness, death and sin,” said Baclig, who was a convert to the Orthodox Church and will celebrate 25 years in the clergy next year. Tonight’s service will tug at the heartstrings of member Riad Aftimos, who is from Damascus. The congregation at St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church is made up of people whose home countries include Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and some Eastern European countries. “It is a little bit nostalgic for me here on Easter. People live close together in that part of the city (Damascus) so it’s like we’re one big family. This service (there) is so packed with people that many have to stand outside the church,” said Aftimos, who has been in the United States for seven years. “The only difference between the service here and there, besides the language, is that it is longer there. Maybe I feel closer to God there, but I am proud to be a part of the community of first Christians.” Strolling bands play in the street in Damascus during Holy Week, with sad songs on Good Friday, and they also play on the Monday and Tuesday after Easter. People dress up for church services because they respect that church is a holy place, said Aftimos. Christians in Damascus dye hard-boiled eggs for Pascha, but Easter baskets are an acquired custom from Europe, and, as Aftimos charmingly put it, “What does the bunny mean?” On Easter Monday, the custom is for people to put flowers on loved ones’ graves and pray for the resurrection of the dead. Tonight’s service at St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox includes the Paschal sermon written by St. John Chrysostom, who was from Antioch. This sermon is always used at Orthodox churches for Pascha. Red-dyed eggs will be handed out at the end of tonight’s service. The congregation will hold a breakfast about 2 a.m. Sunday. People whose ancestry is from Eastern Europe will have their Easter baskets – baskets filled not with chocolates, but with meat, cheese, bread and wine – blessed. Sunday morning’s service is called the Paschal Vespers of Agape (Love). The Gospel will be read in as many languages as the congregation knows, including English, Arabic, Greek and Slavic languages. Services of the Glorious Resurrection – Holy Pascha, 11:30 p.m. today, St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church, 16643 Vanowen St., Van Nuys. The Paschal Vespers of Agape, 11 a.m. Sunday. Call (818) 994-2313 or see www.stmichaelvannuys.org. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3708160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VAN NUYS – “Christ is risen; truly, he is risen” will be repeated joyously by members of Orthodox Christian churches at services beginning late tonight. Pascha, an Aramaic word used by Orthodox Christians for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, has arrived after an eight-day prayerful journey, which began March 31 with the Lazarus Saturday service. Memorializing Jesus’ last public miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead to the Last Supper and the resurrection, Orthodox Christians have attended services each day to remember the last days of Christ’s spiritual work on Earth. “This is the feast of feasts for us. It is the focal point of our year. Everything leads to Pascha,” said the Very Rev. Timothy Baclig from St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church in Van Nuys. “This feast is a tremendous experience that gives people hope and reveals the plan of God.”
Democrats characterized the Perata bill as an attempt to let California voters voice their views on the invasion of Iraq and on continuing American involvement in the country.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A signature is likely to anger many of the governor’s fellow Republicans, who are more supportive of the war than Democrats and independents. A veto would trigger criticism from the war’s opponents. A Field Poll conducted last month found that 58 percent of Californians who were questioned supported setting a deadline to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by next spring. Schwarzenegger has tried to steer a middle course on the issue, saying he supports the troops and the War on Terror but also backs a “timetable for withdrawal.” Perata’s bill would put a measure on the February ballot asking voters if Bush should, “in support of the men and women serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, end the United States occupation of Iraq and achieve the immediate, complete, safe and orderly withdrawal of United States forces.” It also would ask if Bush and Congress should “provide the necessary diplomatic and nonmilitary assistance to promote peace and stability in Iraq and the Middle East?” SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger faced a ticklish decision Tuesday about whether to allow Californians to vote on an advisory measure that urges President George W. Bush to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. The Republican governor had until midnight to sign or veto a bill by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, that would put the withdrawal question on California’s Feb. 5 presidential primary ballot. If the governor failed to act by midnight, the bill would become law and go before voters without his signature. Schwarzenegger’s press secretary, Aaron McLear, said he didn’t know what the governor planned to do with the bill or when he would act: “Stay tuned,” McLear said.
It’s a huge honour to be asked to be the best man but with the job comes responsibility. It’s not just about the stag party. It’s about holding the show together and making sure the day runs smoothly.This is not the time to start your own Wolfpack.1. Organising the stag party can be a huge hassle. Stay enthused and keep to a budget. Do your best to co-ordinate dates – you don’t want it clashing with the All-Ireland. Have a couple of options. Not everything that happens in Vegas, Bundoran or Barcelona stays there. It’s your job to ensure the stag goes off without a hitch. Make sure no-one gets kicked off a plane or arrested for ungentlemanly behaviour. Keep it classy. 2. You may not be best friends with the bride-to-be but she is The One your mate has chosen to marry – don’t slag her off – EVER.3. The bride-to-be will have a large input into the style and colour of suits for the wedding party. Whether it’s a morning suit, a kilt or a cumberbund – (Google it) just accept it. That Conor McGregor-country squire look is soo over.4. Help organise the groomsmen. Make sure they keep appointments for suit fittings and don’t turn up late or hung over for rehearsals.5. On the wedding day arrive prepared with the rings. A pre-nuptial drink with the groom and ushers adds to the buzz of the morning. Keep it brief. No bride wants to be hit with beer fumes on her wedding day. Be there for moral support and to calm those pre-wedding jitters. This is not the time to ask the groom “if he’s sure about this” or “you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to”. 6. The speech. Make it light-hearted and not too long. Don’t mention exes. Don’t talk about the “one that got away” or offer any stories that will make the happy couple feel uncomfortable. Don’t faint.7. Be sociable with the guests. Make time for the mothers of the bride and groom. Pace yourself with alcohol. It’s a long day. Dance with the maid-of-honour and the bridesmaids.8. Check in with the groom to see if he needs anything. Enjoy the day. DD LIFESTYLE: YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE ON HOW TO BE THE BEST ‘BEST MAN’ EVER was last modified: June 5th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:complete guide to being the best Best ManDonegal Dailyweddings
DONEGAL MANAGER Jim McGuinness has defended referees over their inconsistency after meeting one of them recently.McGuinness wanted to know why Fermanagh man Martin Higgins had been so “overly sensitive” during the recent league game between Donegal and Laois; the same fixture as this Sunday as the Division Two final at Croke Park. Higgins awarded 28 frees in the first half.“I left the conversation (with Higgins) feeling sorry for the referees,” said McGuinness in today’s Irish Times. “They are under phenomenal pressure. We had the same referee the day we played Meath and my understanding is he got a very, very hard assessment by the assessor. He tried to rectify that the following day and I understand he got a very hard assessment again since that.“There are 26 or 28 referees in a panel and there are 16 of them that will be refereeing in the championship so there are at least 10 who are not going to make the panel so that is pressure first of all.“I was also informed there is a panel of assessors and not all the assessors get to assess in the championship so they have to pick every single technicality out for their points to be high so you are in a position where referees and assessors are fighting for stripes.”McGuinness told the newspaper that managers needed guidance. “I think the GAA should come out and be more transparent with the referees and the assessors. I would say it is not the referees’ fault. They are under phenomenal pressure to make the cut for the All-Ireland series.“In my estimation, the referee is the talking point 70 per cent of the time coming out of the game now because of fussy fouls, wild technical fouls, one foot here, one foot there. It drives supporters, managers and players crazy and there is nothing majorly wrong with the game only it has become really, really technical now which is damaging to the fluency of the game.”McGuinness said GAA was copying English soccer – and this needed to stop.“We have got a cultural identity in this country and these are our indigenous games. We don’t need yellow cards. If you put your foot over the line in a game of soccer the last couple of years they are pulling it up. All of a sudden now in Ireland it is the same thing. We had a fella booked for diving, our full back who if you knew him you would know he wouldn’t do that. That is your full back in the first 10 minutes so there are a lot of things going on that are not reflective of our indigenous sport.”McGuinness confirmed intercounty managers, unlike their rugby counterparts, are not permitted to speak with referees before a game to ascertain what the referee will not tolerate. “There is a wee bit of an ‘us against them’ situation but let’s try and get it right by working together. It’s about respect,” he tells the Irish Times.NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION 2 FINAL: McGUINNESS DEFENDS REFEREES was last modified: April 21st, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Donegal Sinn Féin has officially launched its campaign to defeat the Austerity Treaty – claiming a No vote is a vote FOR jobs.Sinn Féin TDs and councillors gathered in Letterkenny for the launch of a campaign which will see the republican party host numerous public meetings, canvass doors across the county and deliver thousands of information leaflets to homes across DonegalCommenting at the launch, Donegal North East TD and Sinn Féin’s European Affairs Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said: “Donegal has a history of self defence when it comes to resisting government pressure. “We soundly voted against both Lisbon Referenda and have resisted the household charge in greater numbers than any other county in the State.“The referendum on May 31st gives us another opportunity to demand change. It is a chance to join the growing European wide movement for an end to austerity and to demand investment in jobs and growth. A No vote on May 31st will be a vote for jobs.”The TD claimed: “The Austerity Treaty, if passed, will copper-fasten austerity policies and lead to further substantial cuts to public services, increased unemployment and emigration.“The elections in France, Greece, Italy, Britain and Germany saw the electorate reject austerity. They too know that austerity isn’t working. “Sinn Féin in Donegal plans an extensive campaign of public engagement in order to encourage everyone who is opposed to austerity to come out and vote.“We will host a number of public meetings, canvass doors across the county and deliver information leaflets to towns and villages across Donegal.“Anyone who would like any more information or would like to join the campaign should contact any of our elected representatives.” ‘VOTING NO IS A VOTE FOR JOBS’ SAYS SINN FEIN AS DONEGAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED was last modified: May 9th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:’VOTING NO IS A VOTE FOR JOBS’ SAY SINN FEIN AS DONEGAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
Ollie Horgan takes his Finn Harps side to The Showgrounds in Coleraine tomorrow afternoon as they continue their preparations for the new season.Harps defeated Cork City last week in Roscommon in an encouraging display by Horgan’s troops.Harps face Irish League side Coleraine tomorrow and that will be another good test for Harps ahead of their new season which kicks-off at Tolka Park on March 6th. Harps have secured the majority of last season’s squad which reached the FAI Cup semi-final and have strengthened to it by adding Raymond Foy, Matthew Crossan and Marc Brolly to their ranks.Harps will be hoping the signature of USL sharpshooter Garbhan Friel can help them in the scoring department.Harps Achilles heel last season was their inability to get goals and Horgan will be hoping Friel can get the goals Harps will need if there to be in with any chance of being in the promotion shake up.The match between Finn Harps and Coleraine will kick-off at 4pm tomorrow at The Showgrounds. FINN HARPS FACE COLERAINE IN PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY AT THE SHOWGROUNDS was last modified: February 6th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Finn Harps FCnewsPre-season campaignsoccerSport
Over two hundred people gathered in the Central Hotel in Donegal Town on Thursday 30 November to receive a wide range of awards from Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training Service. Donegal ETB presented certificates to 230 adult learners and young people who had achieved certification in a range of programmes both on a full-time and a part-time basis over the last year. Many of these learners completed their courses in the Adult Education and Training Centres in Ballyshannon and Donegal Town. These included part-time learners who received certification through the Learning for Living programme in Core Skills, Essential Skills, Employability Skills, ICT and General Learning modules such as Communications, Maths, Internet Skills and Word Processing. Part-time learners on the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) achieved awards in Early Childhood Care and Education, Health Service Skills, Information Technology Skills and ECDL.Certification was also achieved by learners from two full-time programmes. Young people on the Ballyshannon Youthreach programme were presented with certificates in Essential Skills, Communications, Maths, Art, Personal Effectiveness, ICT modules, Occupational First Aid, Gaisce and the Sports Leader award. Adults on the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) in both Ballyshannon and Donegal Town were presented with major awards in eBusiness and Business Administration, including modules on web design, ebusiness, internet, word processing, communications, business administration, work experience and book-keeping, along with certification in ECDL, Safe Pass and Customer Service Excellence Awards.Speaking at the awards, Donegal ETB Chairperson, Rena Donaghey, said “It’s an honour to be here tonight to present awards to so many adults and young people. It was wonderful to hear their stories and I would like to congratulate each and every one of them on their achievements.” Cróna Gallagher, Director of FET, Donegal ETB, stated, “It’s fantastic to see so many learners receiving awards here tonight. They have put in so much work to get their certification and I’m delighted to be able to share in their achievements. The certification they have received here tonight will now open up many more progression options to them within further education and training or the world of work.”In 2016, almost 12,000 learners completed courses in more than 120 venues across the county, making Donegal ETB the largest FET provider in the county. Its wide range of courses can be found on the course finder section of its website (www.donegaletb.ie/coursefinder).Further updates on the awards event can be found on Donegal ETB’s website (www.donegaletb.ie/news) and Twitter and Facebook accounts (@DonegalETB).View all the group photos in our picture special below:South Donegal Traveller Womens GroupLevel 3 Group Donegal and BallyshannonLearning for Living Learners Portnoo-KillybegsIT Learners Donegal TownIT and English Learners BallyshannonInternet Skills Learners Donegal TownICT and Language Learners Donegal TownHealth Service Skills Learners Donegal TownECDL and IT Skills Learners Donegal TownE-Business Learners Donegal Town (VTOS)Childcare Learners Donegal TownBusiness Administration Learners Ballyshannon (VTOS)Ballyshannon Youthreach LearnersTraining and Development Learners Donegal TownPicture Special: Ballyshannon and Donegal Town ETB learners receive FET Awards was last modified: December 1st, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:awardsBallyshannon and Donegal TownDonegal ETBfet
Team Alexandra’s players with LOC CEODanny Jordaan, Zakumi and Fifa’s FedericoAddiechi. Some of Team Alexandra players. Theteam will have nine players. Player Catherine Skhosana withAlexandra-born former Kaizer Chiefs starIsaac “Shakes” Kungoane.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• FifaWolfgang EichlerMedia Officer+27 11 567 2010+27 83 2010 email@example.com• 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising CommitteeJermaine CraigMedia Manager+27 11 567 2010+27 83 2010 firstname.lastname@example.orgRELATED ARTICLES• Street Child Cup kicks off in SA• Football for Hope to unite SA• Boost for school football• SA’s children get football fever• Nestlé nurtures future footballersBongani NkosiAlexandra, a sprawling and impoverished township north-east of Johannesburg city centre, may not have a stadium large enough to host any 2010 Fifa World Cup matches, but its residents will soon get the chance to witness top football action there.The newly built No. 3 Square Sports Facility, situated in the heart of the township, has been announced as the host stadium for the 2010 Football for Hope tournament, which will take place between 4 and 10 July.Fifa and its partners, including the City of Johannesburg, Street Football World and the local organising committee, launched the football facility on 25 March in Alex, as the township is known to locals.Although it has a small grandstand capacity, No. 3 Square Sports Facility is a standard stadium with a full pitch and private dressing rooms. It also has numerous basketball, volley ball, netball and tennis courts.“We need to applaud Football for Hope for choosing Alexandra,” said Bafana Sithole, a mayoral committee councillor for the City of Johannesburg. “Alexandra’s people have [now] got hope.”It was a good decision to host the tournament in Alex, said Frederico Addiechi, Fifa’s head of corporate social responsibility. “We are sure we will not regret this decision after 2010,” he said.The township will stage a spectacular event, said former Bafana Bafana midfielder and Alex resident Alfred Phiri. “We’re ready to host the 2010 Football for Hope [games],” he said. “We have never had a project like this in Alex …”Thirty-two football teams from 40 countries will participate in the Alex tournament in July, just as the Fifa World Cup action hots up elsewhere around the country.The Football for Hope matches will be played in a seven-a-side format on a field the size of a basketball court, making the games fast-paced and more exciting.Alex’s team will comprise nine youngsters, aged between 15 and 18, from the township. They are all active members of the NGO Play Soccer, which uses football to teach good social values.Five continents will be represented in the tournament, with Africa having 13 teams, including ones from Nigeria, Mali, Uganda, Lesotho and Zambia.Street Football World’s managing director, Jurgen Griesbeck, explained that one of the teams, the Peace Team from the Middle East, will represent two countries: Palestine and Israel, which have long been locked in deep conflict.The Australian team, meanwhile, will not only consist of Australian nationals, but also a variety of foreigners living in that country. The entire tournament will be a mixed one, with equal numbers of girls and boys participating.The matches will not be officiated by referees, as players themselves will sort out disagreements through dialogue during games. “You will see fair football…,” Griesbeck said.The youngsters chosen to play in the tournament are ambassadors of social change in their communities, and that’s why they were selected. “We’re talking here about role-models,” he added. “They are champions in heading movements in their communities.”Alex players ready for actionSello Mahlangu, an 18-year-old Alex resident, could not hide his excitement about the upcoming tournament. A coach for Team Alexandra, Mahlangu said he felt honoured to have been selected to play.“It’s a great honour for me to participate in this event,” he said. “For this to happen here in Alex is an inspiration.”For 18-year-old Catherine Skhosana, a passionate footballer, participating in the Football for Hope games is an achievement. “Young people, especially young black women, will see that we are getting somewhere,” she said.The Alex team have been vocal about their plans to win the tournament and earn the township a place in world football history. “We’ll get all the way to the final,” Mahlangu told Danny Jordaan, CEO of the local organising committee.Vehicle for social changeFootball for Hope is not your average football tournament. The participating youngsters, who are all from disadvantaged communities, will also take part in activities promoting an exchange of ideas and experiences.They will be encouraged to discuss topics such as HIV/Aids and take part in football coaching workshops, among other initiatives.Fifa uses Football for Hope, founded in 2005, as a way to bring about social change in communities across the world. “We want to celebrate the contribution of football in social development,” said Griesbeck.The competition is a great platform for nurturing young football stars, Jordaan said. “We want to see more Brian Baloyis, more Alfred Phiris [both played football for South Africa’s national squad Bafana Bafana] from Alexandra.”The Football for Hope tournament “is the world cup of change and opportunities”, Jordaan said.