The 31st edition of the country’s premier schools soccer tournament, COPA Coca-Cola, will be launched on Wednesday (today) at Pamushana High School in Bikita, Masvingo province.
The last edition of the tournament in the boys’ category was won by Pamushana, who beat Guinea Fowl of Gweru 2-0 in the final played last year.
Reigning girls’ champions are Nyamauru from Manicaland who beat Bulawayo’s Mpopoma High School 2-1 in the final.
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The reigning champions head into the draw as seeded teams in their respective groups.
The acting National Association for Secondary School Heads (NASH) president Arthur Maphosa said:
All the provinces are coming to Masvingo on Wednesday and everything is set for the draw.
We’re grateful to our sponsors Coca-Cola whose continued support goes a long way in athlete development.
Some of the celebrated soccer stars went through this competition and we believe that the COPA Coca-Cola tournament provides learners with a platform to market themselves.
The reigning boys’ and girls’ champions will know who they start their title defence against at the draw.
Dates for the provincial and national finals will also be revealed at the launch. And as usual, yesteryear greats are expected to be in attendance at the launch of this year’s competition.
The COPA Coca-Cola tournament started in 1989 and was won by Mzilikazi High School from Bulawayo.
The girls’ category came to life in 2011 and the inaugural tournament was won by Vainona from Harare.
The objective of the competition is to offer an opportunity for young footballers to showcase their talent.
Peter Ndlovu, Harlington Shereni, Washington Arubi and Johannes Ngodzo are some of the prominent footballers who cut their teeth at the tournament.