The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) and the Spanish football league, LaLiga, have partnered at the on-going 2019 COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championship in Lusaka, Zambia, to provide one footballer from the Southern African region with a potentially life-changing opportunity of a trial at a professional club in Spain.
Currently in its 26th year, the COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championship is one of the continent’s most prestigious junior tournaments for young footballers and the region’s best and brightest football talents from across Southern Africa will compete for the trophy this year.
This, in preparation for an all-new team in the well-known Spanish club, which will be comprised of international players and local youngsters – presenting a golden opportunity for rising African footballers to make their mark on the international football scene
We are excited to present this opportunity to one of our young stars from the region and thank La Liga for their belief in the quality of players from Southern Africa. Spain has always been a top footballing nation and their ability to constantly produce youngsters of the highest quality makes their development structures among the most admired in the world. The best of luck to all our players in their bid to win this opportunity,” said COSAFA President Dr Phillip Chiyangwa.
The footballer selected as Player of the COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championship may find themselves playing alongside international stars on a whole new level and may also get the chance to play for Numancia’s first team, which has been graced by previous African stars such as current RCD Mallorca striker Lago Junior from Ivory Coast, and former Cameroon midfielder Daniel Komé, who played for during the 2000/01 season.
The team has also been trained by great Spanish coaches like Miguel Angel Lotina and Andoni Goikoetxea. They are currently competing in the prestigious LaLiga Smartbank Spain’s second division, second only to the exalted LaLiga Santander.
“LaLiga is passionate about showcasing how football can improve the lives of African youths, and the COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championship initiative is a perfect example of this. The tournament is not only a showcase of regional talent, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to kickstart a career on the international football stage,” says Marcos Pelegrín, LaLiga Africa Managing Director.
“Who knows? The COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championship may well end up with us discovering the next Quinton Fortune or Benni McCarthy!”
The lucky young winner will be announced after the COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championship final on 14 December by Enrique Suay, La Liga’s Global Network Delegate in South Africa.