Losing to Jinja S.S in the COPA Coca-Cola 2017 tournament earlier this year did not stop two St. Mary’s Kitende S.S players from reaching the recently concluded COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup championship played in Durban, South Africa.
Ssonko Pius Lutaaya and Ssentamu Joshua, who were part of the team that was fielded for COPA 2017, were selected during the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association East Africa games to be part of the team that represented East Africa in the Global Cup.
The East Africa team found the going tough in their opening Group B fixture against South Africa Team 2 losing 6-1. This was followed by a 7-2 defeat to Russia Team 1 in the second group match.
“The tournament has no doubt stretched the players prompting them to do some soul searching about what they want to achieve as players,” commented Peter Mayoyo, the East Africa team coach, after an exciting Day 1 at the COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup in Durban.
Mr. Rodney Nzioka, the Coca-Cola Uganda Brand Manager, commended the East Africa team for the masterful display of talent at the tournament.
“Through this platform, we gave two talented players an opportunity to interact with and play against their counterparts from different countries who have been exposed to a different standard of football and despite the fact that they did not win, I commend them for their eagerness to learn and believe that they return better players than when they left,” he stated, adding that Coca-Cola Uganda remains dedicated to the continued development of sports in Uganda right from the grassroots.
COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup is a three-day U-15 boys’ and girls’ five-a-side tournament established in Zimbabwe in 1989. East Africa is a squad made up of players from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, whereas WIMA is West Island, Middle Africa, and the squad is made up of players from DRC, Rwanda, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.
Tunisia were crowned COPA Coca-Cola Global Cup Under-15 champions after beating Nigeria 7-6 in penalties in the final on Sunday.
ABOUT COPA COCA-COLA
Copa Coca-Cola is held in more than 60 countries with over one million participants annually. Coca-Cola has been a proud sponsor of grassroots football for 25 years. What started in Zimbabwe in 1988 was formalized under Copa Coca-Cola in 1998, when it was first launched in Mexico. The aim of Copa Coca-Cola is to create the world’s largest and most inclusive football grassroots program.
The Copa Coca-Cola national tournaments and international training Camps have provided an opportunity for many exceptionally talented players to be scouted and recruited to join the national under 20 teams in their respective countries with a number joining premier league clubs both in their countries and internationally.