The African Schools Championship, a competition organised by FIFA to support grassroots football development on the African continent, kicked off on the 19th of February 2022 in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The two-day invitational tournament of 6 teams, including host DRC, South Africa, Morocco, Ethiopia, Senegal and the Benin Republic.
The final held at the Stade des Martyrs was also attended by CAF President Patrice Motsepe, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, member association representatives and a group of FIFA Legends.
More than the results on the field, Infantino hailed the long-lasting impact of the tournament in social, developmental and educational terms.
“The importance of involving schools is precisely to go beyond the game beyond only playing football and to include education too. FIFA has a program called Football 4 Schools, which helps all schools in the world through education and football. The game remains something magical, the unity, the fact that it’s girls and boys from all over Africa: it’s so beautiful,” he said.
The idea of the African School Champions Cup was birthed in February 2021 when Infantino visited DR Congo.
“The intention was also to see all 54 African national associations come together in one country to allow children to use sport as a way to embrace the values that football generally conveys. They include fighting against discrimination, positive masculinity, but also fighting against any form of social bias. At the heart of it, the idea is for these children to eventually become role models for their community, but also for their country, as well as the true development of players through this training,” Samoura concluded.
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