Patrice Motsepe. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU
Patrice Motsepe. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe and his Motsepe Foundation have donated $10m for the establishment of a Fifa-Caf Pan-African School Football Championship.

Motsepe said the money will be used to initiate and support the development and growth of schools football in the six Caf zones.

“The best investment we can make to ensure that African football is among the best in the world and self-sustaining is to invest in schools football and youth football development infrastructure for boys and girls at club and national level. This is one of my key focus areas as president of Caf‚” said Motsepe.

Motsepe was joined by his wife and co-founder of the Motsepe Foundation, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, at the announcement  in Abidjan‚ Ivory Coast.

“The Motsepe Foundation is passionate and committed to academic excellence and football excellence‚ and has been sponsoring schools football in SA for many years. We are now extending this commitment and passion to the rest of the African continent‚” said Moloi-Motsepe.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino‚ who also attended the event‚ concurred that schools sport is key for unearthing talent and promoting important values in life.

“Schools are an extremely important social vehicle for the promotion of key life values. 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 years to come‚” said Infantino.

Boys and girls aged between 12 and 14 will play in the Fifa-Caf Pan-African School Football Championship‚ which will have three stages.

It will start at national level through national football associations and then move to the six zonal level tournaments that provide the qualification path to the Fifa-Caf Pan-African School Football Championship finals.

The winning schools will use the prize money to purchase and provide schools football development and education or academic infrastructure‚ facilities and equipment. 

Pilot national tournaments will take place in several countries throughout Africa, including Benin‚ the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia‚ with other participating countries to be announced in due course.

Qualification tournaments will be played between May and December 2021‚ with the finals scheduled for February 2022. The first full edition of the Fifa-Caf Pan-African School Football Championship will take place between 2022 and 2023.

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