24 Oct 2009

Animal slaughters to bless football World Cup?

7:23 am on 24 October 2009

South African traditional leaders plan to perform ritual animal slaughters to bless stadiums for the 2010 World Cup tournament ahead of the start of the showcase event next June.

Zolani Mkiva, chairman of the Makhonya Royal Trust, a group responsible for co-ordinating cultural activities, says the tournament, the first to be held in Africa, needed to be blessed in true "African style".

He says the trust will sacrifice cows for South Africa's great achievement and will call on their ancestors to bless, to grace, and to ensure that all goes well.

South Africa is set to host the World Cup -- the world's most watched sports spectacle -- in less than eight months, with the tournament expected to attract about 500,000 foreign tourists.

Mkiva said the Trust has sent letters to the chief executive and chairman of the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC), proposing traditional ceremonies to be performed at each of the 10 stadiums that are going to be used for the event.

The officials have yet to respond to the request.