President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe, has announced the donation of ten million U.S. dollars by the Motsepe Foundation to the FIFA-CAF Pan-African School Football Championship.
The CAF boss, it was gathered, announced the donation during his visit to the Ivory Coast.
According to a statement on the CAF website, the donation will be used to initiate and support the development and growth of schools’ football in the six CAF zones.
The project, which is based on the organisation of football tournaments in schools, was launched in Democratic Republic of Congo, before being extended to the six zones of CAF to the stage of continental finals.
‘The Motsepe Foundation is passionate and committed to academic excellence and football excellence and has been sponsoring schools football in South Africa for many years’, co-founder of the foundation, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, said.
The initiative is expected to provide schools with football facilities and set up young referees’ recruitment and training programmes.
Also, young schoolchildren without distinction of gender are expected to play football and forge links across the continent.
‘Schools are an extremely important social vehicle for the promotion of key life values’, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.
‘Football values, which include respect, discipline, teamwork and fair-play, are perfect complements for the education of future generations, and FIFA is delighted to be part of this important initiative, together with CAF, for the benefit of youths in Africa.
‘Thanks to the generous donation of the Motsepe Foundation, joy and hope will be given to millions of children across the continent for the years to come’.
CAF noted that boys and girls aged between 12 and 14 will play in the FIFA-CAF Pan-African School Football Championship, which will have three stages: national level (via national football associations); the six zonal level tournaments; and the FIFA-CAF Pan-African School Football Championship Finals.
‘Pilot national tournaments will take place in several countries throughout Africa, including Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, with other participating countries to be announced in due course’, the statement read.
‘Qualification tournaments will be played between May and December 2021, with the finals scheduled for February 2022’.
The first full edition of the championship, including all countries from the Africa, is expected to take place between 2022 and 2023.
Photo source: CAF