By George Aluo
Africa’s first youth soccer tournament for football academies would make its debut next year in Cape Verde in a tournament billed to run from April 19-27 in the city of Praia.
The tournament, according to the organizers, Serahanasports, is Africa’s response to similar global summer youth soccer competitions such as Ibercup, Copa Catalunya, Paris World Games, Gothia Cup, Norway Cup, Dana Cup and Brazil Cup.
Serahanasports, it would be noted, has over the years served as the African representative of the afore-listed tournaments.
Serahanasports’s spokesman, Godson Abba Ekadi disclosed that after presenting African teams since 2012 in some of the best youth soccer tournaments across the globe, it was time for Africa to now host the world.
In Ekadi’s words: “We have been taking youth soccer academies from Africa to attend international youth soccer tournaments in Europe annually and we have now replicated this in Africa so that the global football community at youth level can also come to Africa and engage more African teams against the backdrop of the current situation where only one or at most two teams feature in international youth soccer tournaments annually due to visa and other constraints. We want to invite all junior national teams and academies from Africa including those that have gone with us to Europe at one time or the other, Lusaka Youth Soccer Academy from Zambia, COD United fc, United Boys fc, Emmanuel Amunike Soccer Academy, and Midas fc, all from Nigeria; Ivoire Sports Promotions CF Volcan Junior, Napoli fc, and CF Daraja Sport, all from the Ivory Coast to register for this maiden edition which has provision for 16 teams only.”
Continuing, Ekadi said: “Cape Verde or Cabo Verde if you like, a country on the move and on a mission to revive her football glory accepted to host the maiden edition of the Africa Youth Cup in the beautiful capital city of Praia in April 2019; and by this gesture the tournament will be held in Cabo Verde annually. It is worthy to note that in 2016, Cape Verde were number one and number thirty-one in both the CAF and FIFA rankings respectively. The country is also host to the maiden edition of the African Beach Soccer tournament in June 2019. It is important to state here that the Country has thrown its weight behind this tournament with the Sports ministry, the Football federation, the Olympic committee, the management of the National stadium, and the President of the Municipality of Praia involved.”
The Cape Verdean sporting authorities have assured that the Africa Youth Cup shall truly live up to great expectations as arrangements are in place to secure the interest of top class European teams like SL Benfica, FC Porto, Sporting Lisbon, Manchester City, Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and prominent French teams to attend.
Accommodation, and playing fields have been selected from amongst the best in the city in the best locations to give maximum comfort to all participants. Facilities in the city of Praia also compare to what obtains in Europe.
The winner of the Africa Youth Cup together with the best performed team from host country shall enjoy full or part support to attend our partner tournaments in Europe, Asia, or South America.