By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa (Mapepeza News Media – Africa correspondence)
South Africa is set to host the first-ever Continental Final phase of the CAF African Schools Football Championship at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban from April 5-8.
The historic event has attracted over 44,000 boys and girls from 41 African countries under the age of 15 to not only compete on the field but also participate in capacity-building programs.
This competition is the culmination of a journey that started with schools’ competitions at the national level and then the zonal phase. Some of the top schools in Africa will compete for the ultimate prize during the Continental Phase of the competition.
The event is expected to be a weekend of festivities in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, with the final being played on Saturday, April 8, 2023.
According to CAF General Secretary General Veron Mosengo-Omba, “For the first time, CAF is not just talking about developing the youth, but we are investing in a tangible way to the future of Africa. We are giving hope, we are giving a platform.”
The CAF African Schools Football Championship was first announced by CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, in April 2021.
Motsepe’s vision to invest in youth has been realized with the championship already impacting many lives.
Thanks to a donation of USD 10 million by the Motsepe Foundation, schools will be able to use the money for development projects.
The prize money for the Zonal Phase is as follows:
- Winner (boys & girls) $100,000
- Runner-up (boys & girls) $75,000
- Third place (boys & girls) $50,000
The prize money for the Continental Phase is as follows:
- Winner (boys & girls) $300,000
- Runner-up (boys & girls) $200,000
- Third place (boys & girls) $150,000
“We have a lot of confident that we will work together with SAFA, with South African Government and KwaZulu Natal to ensure that this is a success,” said Mosengo-Omba.
The CAF African Schools Football Championship is not only important to CAF but to Africa as a whole. It is an investment in the future of African football and a platform for young people to showcase their talent.
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