JOHANNESBURG: The Queensland Roar Against Racism campaign will receive a high profile boost when local heroes Queensland Roar kick-off against South African Premier League team Supersport United in a special anti-racism fundraiser at Suncorp Stadium on 1 July.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie announced the feature match between Queensland Roar and the Pretorian Premier League side Supersport United during an official Queensland Government reception in Johannesburg today.

Mr Beattie said the State Government would provide $50,000 sponsorship for the match with all profits raised going to support the Queensland Roar Against Racism campaign.

"As part of the launch of Queensland's newest anti-racism campaign, we invited Supersport United to visit our state to play a match in the spirit of global harmony," Mr Beattie told guests at the Queensland Government reception.

"I am confident that thousands of football-mad Queenslanders will flock to Suncorp Stadium to show their support for this initiative. Queensland Roar has a real international flavour about it with players from Korea, Brazil, Germany and Scotland in their present team.

"The world game has an amazing capacity to bridge racial and ethnic divides and our Queensland Roar players are excellent advocates and good role models for ethnic diversity," Mr Beattie said.

Queensland Roar Chairman John Ribot, who joined Supersport United players and officials in Johannesburg for the announcement, said it was a bonus home game for local football fans.

"The winter kick-off against a class South African team will give our football starved fans a real excuse to turn out in force for this match," Mr Ribot said.

"Supersport United's major sponsor M Net Television will enable Supersport's supporters to share the experience in South Africa.

"Queensland Roar Against Racism is a great initiative and one our club is delighted to be involved with.

"Queensland Roar's management, staff, coach Frank Farina, and his players will work with Multicultural Affairs Queensland to send positive, anti-racism messages to footballers, school children and the community in general.

"The message will be that we're all part of the one community and are all valued, irrespective of where we come from," Mr Ribot said.

Mr Beattie said Queensland was keen to build relationships with South African teams in advance of the World Cup in 2010, and share knowledge of each others' approaches to combating racism.

"I'm confident this 'friendly' between Queensland Roar and Supersport United will be played with the competiveness and intensity that marks all sporting contests between our sports loving countries," Mr Beattie said.

"It promises to be an exciting match that will stimulate great interest in both Australia and South Africa."

20 March 2007

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Queensland Roar: Neil Favager 0407 843 544