Coca-Cola hosts COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup on SA shores

Coca-Cola South Africa and the iconic city of Durban will play host to the internationally acclaimed u15 youth football tournament, COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup, from 6-8 October 2017. Set on the scenic Durban beachfront, the tournament will see forteen u15 teams from around the world descend to the city to compete for the honour of being crowned the inaugural COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup Champions.

The 5-a-side Global tournament will cast the spotlight on the world’s best up-and-coming, young football talent.  The tournament will give teens the opportunity to join in a global celebration of footballing passion as they take their place alongside more than 1.3 million participants from over 60 counties.

Joining the host country’s teams will be eight international teams that will be participating in the competition.  The global teams will hail from Nigeria, Russia, Tunisia as well as Zimbabwe. The tournament will also feature a girls’ team from Zimbabwe who will be competing against two KwaZulu-Natal Provincial sides.

The South African side will be represented by the COPA Coca-Cola ‘Which Part Will You Play’ All-star team that was selected throughout the provincial phase of the local COPA Coca-Cola tournament by campaign ambassador, Simba Marumo. The team comprises of 11 players who embody the characteristics needed to form a successful team. These archetypes include the Heart, the Mastermind, the Perfectionist, the Rebel, theMachine, the Legend, the Rock, the Artist, the Underdog, the Impossible and the Joker.

“Following a successful COPA Coca-Cola season, we are excited to host the COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup on our shores for the first time. The global tournament is about involving more boys and girls, unearthing great talent and creating a platform for them to compete against other talented aspiring footballers from around the world. We hope that this event builds on the success of previous international camps and will ultimately become an annual event on the COPA calendar,” says Phindile Phiri, Marketing Assets Manager at Coca-Cola.

“The format of the tournament will be played as a 5 a-side competition, giving players an opportunity to really showcase flair, passion and demonstrate the existing talent in grassroot football, “adds Phiri.

Part of the COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup will include bespoke experiences for all teams taking part in the tournament. Coca-Cola will kickstart the week with an opening dinner and the official COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup draw that will be held at Moyo restaurant in the tourist destination of uShaka Marine World. Bafana Bafana legend and current Cape Town City coach, Benni McCarthy, will be part of the official proceedings and will assist with the draw. McCarthy holds the exclusive honour of being the only South African player to have ever won the UEFA Champions League with FC Porto.

“I want to urge all the young players who will be in Durban to fully take advantage of this opportunity and use it as a springboard for their football careers. COPA Coca-Cola continues to inspire unity in football despite different languages, cultures, religions and race, ensuring that our stars of tomorrow value the principles of sportsmanship,” says McCarthy.

“As a coach, I realise the imperativeness of instilling sound technical knowledge in young footballers. The training session encompassed in the camp will be pivotal in building solid foundations that develop young players to become future stars. One has to hope that the COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup can grow and continue inspiring young footballers from across the world to reach their full potential,” adds McCarthy.

Post the official draw, the tournament participants will enjoy an elite training session with current Bidvest Wits player, Steven Pienaar, who has recently joined the Absa Premiership Champions following a successful career in the Premier League. The former Bafana captain is a product of football development programmes, having started his career with a development school before joining the professional ranks.

“It’s a great privilege to be a part of grooming the next generation of footballers through COPA Coca-Cola. It was not so long ago that I was in their shoes, so this is an exciting opportunity for me to give back to the next generation of players in a meaningful way,” Pienaar said.

The presence of these two iconic stars will play a pivotal role in inspiring the young players in achieving their goals of being professional players.

Former players, Jabulani ‘S-Curl’ Mendu and Simba Marumo will be part of the local coaching team, taking the players through their paces.

The tournament will take place from 6-8 October 2017, with both boys and girls 5-a-side teams taking part.

Follow all the action on social media using #COPAGlobalCup.