African communities come together at South Australian football tournament
Created in response to the rapidly growing African community, the African Nations Cup of South Australia (SA) has become a favourite on the sporting calendar, celebrating a shared love of football among all.
Since the late 1990s, the African Nations Cup of SA has grown tremendously, and this year, 20 nations will compete for the title at Valo Football Centre from September 28 to October 1, 2018.
Arsene Iribuka, tournament coordinator with the African Communities Council of SA, said the tournament has been organised in partnership with the Football Federation of SA since 2013, and has seen a number of players proceed professionally.
“During the 2012 African Nations Cup of SA, Awer Mabil, who is now playing in Denmark for FC Midtjylland, represented South Sudan and starred for Adelaide United between 2013 and 2015,” he said.
He has also been shortlisted to represent the Australian National Team, and we wish him all the best during the training camp in Turkey.
Other stars who have previously competed in the African Nations Cup of SA include Thomas Deng, Pacifique Niyongabire, Ruon Tongyik and Teeboy Kamara.
Allowing for the players to represent their country of heritage in South Australia, Arsene also said the tournament allows for multiple cultures to come together to be embraced and celebrated.
“It provides an opportunity for South Australians with an African background to enjoy in the festivities of a football tournament that is rooted in our culture in terms of representing our nations and showcasing our talent to the wider Australian community,” he explained.
Football is not a sport to many of our African community members, it as a way of life.
“Not only does it provide an opportunity to get away from the stresses of life, it cultivates discipline, commitment, persistence and most importantly teamwork.”
For the first time, the tournament will also hold a women’s competition, featuring four teams including Sudan, Congo and Liberia.
Twenty-two teams from Burundi, Uganda, Congo DR, Ethiopia, Togo, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and more have registered to compete, however, only 20 of these teams can take part.
In 2017, Liberia defeated Congo DR 3-0 in the final match watched by around 2000 people, and Arsene said other teams to watch in 2018 include Burundi, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Guinea and Ethiopia.
Follow the African Nations Cup of South Australia on Facebook HERE.