Copa Coca Cola boss Kennedy Mutenyo and the president of then Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association (Feasssa) Justus Mugisha have welcomed Caf’s newly-inaugurated Pan-African school championship.
The continental body’s newly-elected president Patrice Motsepe launched a pilot interschool competition project in Kinshasa, DR Congo recently. The project, Motsepe’s first since assuming office last month is expected to take shape and run through the whole of Africa culminating in a coveted continental inter-schools tournament.
Mutenyo who is a member of the vibrant National Copa Coca Cola schools tournament says Caf’s championship will complement the existing competitions and create more exposure and opportunities for young talents.
“Anything that will give more opportunities to our young people to excel is welcome. Secondly, it’s a confirmation that in all sports development programs, schools are a key component like we have witnessed with Copa Coca-Cola all over the world,” said Mutenyo.
“The [Caf] tournament will be run under an arrangement between the member associations and the respective ministries of education. What they are trying is what we have been doing in East Africa (Feasssa) because we have held such a program successfully. Cosafa has tried but it’s scanty,” Mugisha who is also a vice president and school delegate at Fufa explained.
However, he refutes that the Caf’s tournament is a duplication of the Afcon under-17 and a rival to the existing East Africa schools championship and the likes. He believes the two can co-exist as well as pull other countries that are unable to participate due to logistical challenges.
“It’s not a duplication of the Under-17 or any other particular junior championships because the schools have children of different age brackets. Secondly, ours is like a semi-Olympic that includes several disciplines and not only football. We have only six countries, yet Cecafa has 12. We can’t organise Feasssa for all regional clubs because of financial constraints but the Caf programme will be funded so a bit easier to have everyone on board which is good.”
The Caf school’s championship will be contested in the six regions with winners advancing to the continental final. The six Caf regions are; Cecafa (Central East), Cosafa (Southern), Wafu A and B (West), Uniffac (Central) and Unaf (North).