Football fans across Nigeria will be treated to the best of school football, as the 2016 COPA Coca-Cola national championship calls for teens to register for the game.
The world’s largest brand-supported grassroots football initiative COPA Coca-Cola, led by the global beverage giant, Coca-Cola, connects and engages teens with the prospect of attaining their football dreams, encouraging them to bond, form new friendships, and acquire significant social skills through team involvement.
This year, the ‘Join in a Team’ emphasises team spirit, where they can also imbibe values like focus, reliability, loyalty, creativity and trustworthiness.
Several matches would be played in 32 cities across the country, with over 3,000 schools participating in the 3000 matches that would bring together over 60, 000 players.
This is a significant leap from last year, where matches were played in 10 cities, among 144 schools, and with about 2,160 players.
The event has been divided into three stages, the grassroots, group and final stage. At the grassroots stage, interested schools in each state will be allowed and encouraged to participate, and 32 qualifying teams will represent each state of the federation at the group stage.
In the Group stage, each region will be divided into groups from which a winner will emerge from the tournament sequential structure for the next round.
The final stage is the National Finals, which would be hosted in Lagos, and its grand finale will be played in a National Stadium.
At the tournament, four female teams – two matches will be exhibited during the national finals. The players would also benefit from coaching clinics at the group stage.
Commenting on the initiative, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola, Patricia Jemibewon, said, “Coca-Cola like Football is enjoyed across the world, and creating an experience by bringing these two sources of inspiration together to benefit players and help them mature into world-class players, is an important way to influence the society.