Soccer star appointed South Africa 2010 tourism ambassador


South African soccer star Lucas Radebe has been appointed as SA Tourism’s “2010 Ambassador to the World”, tasked to promote the country ahead of the World Cup kick-off next year.

The announcement was made by Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk at an event in Johannesburg on Thursday evening.

A statement issued by the ministry on Wednesday quoted Van Schalkwyk as saying that tourism in South Africa was privileged to have a footballer of Radebe’s stature and caliber “to partner with us to grow excitement” about the looming international event.

“We look forward to working with him as 2010 approaches to spread the message of the anticipation and optimism sweeping our country,” he said.

The Soweto-born Radebe, who made his international soccer debut for South Africa in 1992, and was capped 70 times, went on to an illustrious career with English club Leeds United, which he captained from 1998 to 2002.

Radebe retired from football in 2005.