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Milestone for South Sudan football

By Ronald Musoke

South Sudan’s ‘Bright Stars’ may have succumbed to a 1-0 defeat on Nov 24 at the hands of Ethiopia’s ‘Black Lions’ at the ongoing CECAFA tournament in Kampala but the result pales in significance for the nation’s sports fraternity.

This was the world’s newest nation’s maiden competitive international soccer fixture. In July last year, South Sudan played her first international game ever when they drew 2-2 with Uganda in a ‘friendly’ game in Juba, South Sudan’s capital.

Zoran Djordjevic, the South Sudan coach said he was impressed with the team’s performance, despite the loss. The future, he added, remains bright for sports in a country that has just embarked on nation building, after decades of civil war.

South Sudan was admitted into CECAFA, the oldest tournament on the continent in May last year and shortly after became a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF)—the football governing body on the continent. The country expects full membership of the world’s football governing body FIFA by 2014.

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