Danone Nations Cup qualifying rounds in full swing

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Mark Steenbok

The qualifying phase of the Danone Nations Cup for boys under-12 is in full swing all around the world and as well as right here in the Free State.

The competition which is the biggest football competition in the world for players between the ages of 10 and 11 consists out of 32 countries and involves a total of 2.5 million kids.

The tournament has being running for the past 15 years and the respective countries compete in local, regional and national competitions before moving on to the world finals which will be staged in Morocco later this year.

Primary schools from across South Africa including the Free State started with their preliminary round fixtures last week.
So far Bochabela, Monyatsi, Mabeoana, Tsholetsang, Toka, Maboloka, Kgabane, Grey College, Mothusi, Batho, and Relebeletse have all advanced to the last 16 which will be played on Wednesday 4 March.

Credo Primary school from Sasolburg are the current Free State provincial champions.

The provincial finals will be played at the Clive Solomon stadium in Heidedal on Saturday 21 March, with the winning schools then advancing to the regional finals, culminating in the 9 provinces competing to determine the national champion.
Over 34,000 schools and 11,000 clubs from all around the world are involved.

The 2014 edition of the tournament saw the 32 teams head to Brazil where Siphumelele Primary School from Inanda, KwaZulu Natal represented South Africa.

South Africa share the record for the most cup wins with France, with three apiece.

One of the main values of the tournament is fair play; therefore this competition helps to instill in these young players the meaning of respect and dignity in victory as well as in defeat.

For more information you can contact Free State provincial coordinator: Letima Mogorosi at lmmogorosi@webmail.co.za or at 082-725-9964