2017 may be winding down to a close, but the soccer community in South Africa isn’t resting just yet. Two tournaments for the youth, the Scara Ngobese Football Memorial Games and the New Year’s Cup, will run simultaneously over the last two weeks of December. Spanish sports association, LaLiga, will be providing support for both.
The Scara Ngobese Football Memorial Games was established in memory of its namesake – Scara Emmanuel Black Jesus Ngobese. After his retirement from an illustrious professional career, in which he helped Kaizer Chiefs win the 2003/04 and 2004/05 league titles, his biggest desire was to help unearth young talent in townships. This tournament aims to honour his legacy and to realise his wishes.
As an organisation that has a similar vision of developing soccer in South Africa, LaLiga have committed to backing the initiative. They will provide their support for the fourth Scara Football Memorial Games in the form of branding, soccer balls, and merchandise.
Unrelated, but running concurrently, will be the second New Year’s Cup in Grahamstown, where 32 teams will be fighting for bragging rights and the first place prize of R100 000. This tournament’s aim is to promote football development in the province, as well as offer an alternate activity for the youth in the region, during a period when destructive habits like drug and alcohol abuse are at their highest.
LaLiga, who were part of the inaugural tournament last year, are partnering up with the New Year’s Cup organisation again for 2017. They will be providing financial support, as well as branding and merchandise.
“Tournaments like these are key to unlocking the soccer potential not only in the country, but across the entire continent,” said Antonio Barradas, LaLiga’s Country Manager. “We firmly believe that the future of football is in Africa, and that’s exactly why we’ve established an office here. We want to be part of these kinds of initiatives to unearth undiscovered talent, and nurture it.”
The Scara Ngobese Football Memorial Games and New Year’s Cup both kicked off on the 16th of December.