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Date: 22 April 2019

  African - Soccer

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News Headlines

Aaron Mokoena receives Freedom of London City

[Posted 27 Oct 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Aaron Mokena will be accorded  Freedom of the City of London on 10 November 2010

Bafana Bafana and Portsmouth captain Aaron 'Mbazo' Mokoena has been ear-marked for an honorary award of the Freedom of the City of London in England for his contribution to football and human development through his charitable works.

Mokoena was nominated by the Mayor of London Alderman Andrew Parmley who was impressed by the Portsmouth captain's commitment to improving the lives of poor youngsters in his native South Africa.

 "I met Aaron during the South African Presidential State visit earlier this year.

"I was impressed by what Aaron has achieved in his football career as captain of South Africa and Portsmouth FC and by his determination to ensure young people in South Africa have access to sport and education opportunities through his charitable Foundation which he established in 2009," Alderman Parmley said.

It is rare that an African player receives such an honour in England, and Mokoena is grateful to have such an honour bestowed upon him.

"I am honoured to be awarded the Freedom of the City of London. London is such a fantastic city and to be presented this award as a South African playing football in the UK is a very proud moment for my country, my family and myself," Mokoena said.

The ceremony, which will take place on 10 November this year at the Chamberlain's Court at Guildhall, will begin with an oath of allegiance, culminating in the recipient Mokoena being confirmed with a greeting accorded to a "Citizen of London".

A Freedom certificate will be awarded to Mokoena at the ceremony, confirming his new honorary status.

The leadership of Portsmouth FC has welcomed their captain Mokoena's nomination for the award by the City of London.

"Aaron is a fantastic role model.

"His dedication to improving the lives of young people in South Africa by providing educational and sporting opportunities is admirable, and we are very proud to have him as part of our team," Portsmouth FC's Chief Executive David Lampitt said on behalf of the club.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth FC appears to have successfully negotiated its way out of a difficult financial spell which threatened to see the club folding just a fe weeks ago.

Now previous owner Sacha Gaydamak agreed to sign a deal to sell the club to a consortium led by Malaysian businessman Balram Chainrai on Tuesday.

The deal has already received approval of the FA and it has already seen the lifting of the transfer embargo which had been placed on Portsmouth a few months ago.

It is the embargo with which the Fratton Park side was slapped which frustrated former Kaizer Chiefs Onismor Bhasera's chances of joining Portsmouth after receiving an offer and a work permit for 3 years. Bhasera is now in League One with Plymouth Argyle.

The club is now effectively out of administration following the arrival of the new owners. Impliedly, the football careers of African players at Portsmouth such as captain Mokoena, John Utaka and veteran Nwanko Kanu are secured for now.

Portsmouth is also a former home to ex-Zimbabwe Warriors' captain Benjamin "Benjani" Mwaruwari. The former Manchester City and Portsmouth player retired from international football on 12 October following a disappointing home draw for Zim against Cape Verde.


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