The event has become a major fixture on the junior international football calendar and is one of the most respected tournaments in the Under-17 age-group in the world, drawing a superb line-up of teams from across the globe.
The international teams that will be competing are two-time defending champions Clube Atletico Mineiro from Brazil, as well Club Tijuana from Mexico who are returning to the competition having been popular participants in 2011.
Europe will be represented by English giants Everton, along with top Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, two of the most famous and historic clubs from that continent. There will also a second appearance for the Aspire Academy in Qatar, while regular visitors K-Stars from Zambia also return.
These eight sides will be joined by four more teams from the Gauteng province, who have all won the right to compete in the international event following the 2013 Future Champions Gauteng Cup played earlier this month. SuperSport United won that tournament, beating fellow Tshwane side University of Pretoria on penalties in the final. SAFA Sedibeng is the third South African side after they won their place in the international tournament with a semi-final showing at the Future Champions Gauteng Cup.
Johannesburg Secondary School from Mayfair is the fourth ‘home’ side after they went through a lengthy qualification process to reach this point. They won the 2013 Future Champions Schools Cup, which gave them the right to compete in the Future Champions Gauteng Cup.
“It is fantastic to once again welcome the 12 competing sides to this celebration of junior football with the 2013 Future Champions Gauteng tournament. The previous four years have provided rich entertainment and have been an important stepping stone for these young men as they try to forge a career as professional footballers. There is much to be learnt on and off the pitch by these players and we wish all of them the very best of luck in the tournament,” said Lebogang Maile, MEC for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.