Africa’s best for inaugural 5-a-side football league
The popularity of five-a-side football is growing tremendously in Africa, with the inclusion of three more teams in Castle Lager’s inaugural Africa 5s social football league.
Castle Lager brand director, Vaughan Croeser made the announcement in Soweto on Monday during the launch of this year’s campaign that Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda have been included in the initial group of six countries in the game, while the beer brand has also further diversified by in troducing a women’s league.
“Bringing Nigeria and Ghana in the game is amazing for us. They bring a lot of passionate footballers to be a part of the mix.
“By getting involved in social football we believe we can really impact social cohesion and give people an amazing place where they can play social football and bring people together to create more friendships.”
In an interview with the Dispatch, Croeser said the beer brand will also spread the game to rural parts in South Africa for the first time.
“We will bring the play-offs to the rest of South Africa. You can pre-register your team and select the province that you’re in and we will show you the closest venue where the community playoff will be happening. We have been a proud sponsor for the national teams and national league, and what we thought was missing is support to the grassroots development of the game.”
The campaign, spearheaded by Africa’s football icon, Samuel Eto’o and an array of other African legends, including Mathew Booth and Zambias Christopher Katongo, will see this year’s final played out in Tanzania, where two stadiums have been named after the former Barcelona and Cameroon star.
The ultimate winners will walk away with an all expenses paid trip to a Ligue 1 match in Milan, hosted by Eto’o.
Speaking to journalists at the launch, Eto’o said the campaign is a catalyst for unity in the continent.
“It’s great to be a part of this campaign, and it’s a good opportunity as well for the young players. It’s great for Africa to have good pitches. It will help our players because we do have quality. I will always find time for these events, because it is unifying people in our continent.”
Renowned female footballer and analyst Amanda Dlamini was announced as the first female ambassador for the Africa 5s. “We have always spoken about women’s football and corporate supporting it.
“I see this as a great opportunity, not only to be the face of the campaign, but to use this platform to inspire women across South Africa to also take part in this.
“Women must see that football is not just competitive but also social. The biggest challenge for us is to try and get everyone to grasp the idea of women football and Africa fives,” she said.
South African DJ Sphe said the five-a-side format of the game has brought people from all walks of life together.
“We get to play with a variety of different people. It’s a very cool thing, especially after the games where we get to chat and share some drinks together.”
Teams can register on www.Africa5s.com...