10.5 C
Thursday, July 18, 2024

CAF African Schools Championship kicks off

Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor

THE 2023 CAF African Schools Championship has kicked off in Harare this Thursday with 12 COSAFA countries battling for regional honours at Gateway High School.

The second edition of the CAF African Schools Championship Zonal finals were officially opened by the Minister of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Dr Kirsty Coventry, while Confederation of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) president, Artur de Almeida e Silva was also in attendance together with Zimbabwe Football Association Normalisation Committee chairperson, Lincoln Mutasa.

The under-15 tournament for boys and girls was launched last year but Zimbabwe were ineligible to participate as they were under suspension from the world football governing body, FIFA.

With the lifting of the suspension, Zimbabwe moved swiftly to host the regional tournament where the winners will go on to represent COFASA at the continental finals set for next year.

Zimbabwe is thrilled to be hosting the tournament.

“We are very happy to be hosting this tournament, this is what we wanted to see with the coming back of international football, this resonates well with our objectives of hosting international tournaments and for Zimbabwean football, this is a legacy because the development stage is where it all starts, we need to harness our talents and start developing them from an early age and make sure we keep a database and continue developing them further to be able to produce world-class athletes,” said Dr Coventry.

The 10-team competition is a festival of school football over three days, culminating in the finals of the boys’ and girls’ competitions on Saturday.

The tournament also serves as a welcome return to COSAFA for Zimbabwe, a nation that has successfully hosted several competitions in the past and has been a steady supplier of excellent young talent to the region.

Meanwhile, it was a day of mixed fortunes for Zimbabwe as the boys’ team lost the first match four-nil to Malawi before rallying back to thump Botswana 4-1 and went further to wallop Eswatini 3-1.

Head coach Norman Taruvinga emphasised the thrust of the tournament.

“We are here to develop these kids and development does not look at results but the fundamentals that are needed, the exposure that these boys are getting is invaluable, when they go back to their schools and clubs they won’t be the same because of the exposure that they have hit here, and we hope we will continually expose these kids to such competitions and that is how we can develop the world. Class footballers.”

In the girls’ category, Zimbabwe also lost 3-nil to Malawi, before going down 1-nil to Botswana.

The girls, however, rallied back to outclass Eswatini 5-1, while tournament favourites and defending champions South Africa won all their matches so far.

A total of 20 matches were played on the opening day, with 20 more scheduled for this Friday, when the group phase will come to an end.

The winners of each of the two pools in both the boys’ and girls’ competitions will then face each other in a final to decide a winner and who will advance to the continental finals next year.

Related Articles

[td_block_social_counter facebook="tagdiv" twitter="tagdivofficial" youtube="tagdiv" style="style8 td-social-boxed td-social-font-icons" tdc_css="eyJhbGwiOnsibWFyZ2luLWJvdHRvbSI6IjM4IiwiZGlzcGxheSI6IiJ9LCJwb3J0cmFpdCI6eyJtYXJnaW4tYm90dG9tIjoiMzAiLCJkaXNwbGF5IjoiIn0sInBvcnRyYWl0X21heF93aWR0aCI6MTAxOCwicG9ydHJhaXRfbWluX3dpZHRoIjo3Njh9" custom_title="Stay Connected" block_template_id="td_block_template_8" f_header_font_family="712" f_header_font_transform="uppercase" f_header_font_weight="500" f_header_font_size="17" border_color="#dd3333"]
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles