By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh
The CAF African Schools Football Championship Continental will kick off in Durban, South Africa, from April 5-8. Six zones, including Cosafa, will battle it out to be crowned overall champions in the 12-15 years boys and girls category.
All matches will be played at King Zwelithini Stadium. Tuesday’s draw paired WAFU A champions Scan Aid girls alongside Fountain Gate Dodoma Secondary School (Tanzania) & Edendale Technical High School (South Africa).
The teams are drawn into two groups. Group A will have three teams, while the remaining four will occupy Group B. The top two from each group will make it to the semi-finals.
Darboes FC captain Fatou Njie told the Alkamba Times that they train well and look ahead to the competition.
“We have trained very well; we are better prepared than before we went to Cape Verde. So we are confident that we will achieve something in South Africa,” she stressed.
Fatou Darboe expressed her pride as her academy plays in the regional U15 tournament, where Fatou Njie is one of her products.
“It makes me happy. As a player, being a senior player and being able to recruit Fatou to be part of that team and be able to represent the Gambia internationally. My target has been to teach the girls all I know and break barriers I couldn’t break.”
Amadou BB Jatta also emphasized that it will be an arduous task in South Africa, but they are in for it.
“We have been preparing for a while since we returned from Cape Verde. It will be a challenging task for us, among other zones. To be champions, you have to beat champions.”
“The whole team is ready for the challenges ahead. It will be hard for us, but victory will be ours. Countries like South Africa are known for established female football, but football is beyond what is on paper. We respect each team in the tournament. We will give every team a challenge in their life. The girls are technically and tactically ready,” Amadou added
The Prize Money
CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, first announced the CAF African Schools Football Championship in April 2021.
During the announcement, Dr. Motsepe said: “The best investment we can make to ensure that African football is amongst the best in the world and self-sustaining is to invest in schools’ football and youth football development infrastructure for boys and girls at the club and national level. This is one of my key focus areas as President of CAF.”
The Motsepe Foundation has, in total, donated USD 10 million for the inaugural CAF African Schools Football Championship. Winners: USD 300,000, Runners-Up: USD 200,000, and Third place: USD 150,000.