Copa Coca-Cola World Cup set to be launched

Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
WITH the Copa Coca-Cola participants now expected to compete in the Under-15 Five-A-Side World Cup set to be launched later this year in South Africa, Coca-Cola market activation manager Vee Chibanda says the move will allow more young players the opportunity to take part at the highest level.

The tournament organisers have since reviewed the age-group for boys from Under-16s to Under-15s who will take part in the World Cup.

Previously there were regional camps after local tournaments and then international camps attended by just a few players.

Chibanda said all countries that run the Copa Coca-Cola tournament will take part in the Five-A-side World Cup and they are still working on the dates for the event.

“In the past years we have the (local) tournament, we select the boys, we have a regional tournament and then we have an international tournament. The only disadvantage that we saw was that because of budgetary constraints, we were then not able to take a lot of boys to the international tournament.

“So we are now trying to see how best then can we use the money that we have to ensure that a whole lot more boys can experience (the highest level of the tournament). So now we will be having just an international tournament, no regional tournament to help us at least have more boys attending, we would want girls to also attend.

“Provisionally we are looking at launching this international Five-A-Side in South Africa. South Africa is the country that is currently managing the global charter for Copa Coca-Cola, so we are looking at launching it in South Africa,” Chibanda said.

Chibanda said Five-A-Side is easy to manage not only in terms of organisation but also on budgets and most of the countries are likely to participate in the tournament.

“We will have all the countries that participate in Copa Coca-Cola coming to play under Five-A-Side. For us Five-A-Side is an area that helps us to manage the tournament easier.

“So 11-A-Side yes its good but taking a team for some countries it’s easier to just take kids who can play the Five-A-Side, unlike when you have to look at a team that has 11 plus, the reserves, it makes the team bigger.

“It’s manageable as far as the budgets are concerned to make sure that you can take as many teams as you want because you are now looking at Five-A -Side,” said Chibanda.

However, locally it will remain an 11-A-Side tournament with the dream team being selected just like in the past and from that team, the Five-A-Side team will be picked.

For the girls it remains an Under-17 competition.

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