The first pan-African inter-school tournament drew its curtains on Sunday 20 February in Kinshasa with the victory of the Congolese boys and Moroccan girls.
The DRC and Morocco have won the first Pan-African inter-school football tournament. The tournament ended on Sunday 20 February with the semi-finals and finals. In the boys' category, the young Congolese from the Horizon Institute in Bukavu beat (3-1) the Senegalese in the final. After an average group phase, they eliminated Morocco in the semi-finals (1-1, 5-2 pen).
The icing on the cake, the DRC won the title of best player of the tournament with the designation of its playmaker, Baliamwabo Elie. ''I am very happy and I thank God for this trophy. It was not easy but we fought for the nation. I congratulate the whole team."
Morocco finished third by defeating Ethiopia in the small final (2-1).
In the girls' competition, Morocco won (1-0) in the final against South Africa. The representatives of the Cherifian Kingdom dominated the competition. They won all their matches. The third place was won by Ethiopia who dominated Benin in the small final (1-1, 4-1 pen).
The best of the tournament
In terms of individual honors, Morocco left almost nothing to the other countries. The young Moroccan women won four prizes. These were the best goalkeeper (Safraoui Mjamed), the best female goalkeeper (Marwa Sabban), the best female player (Naini Fatmazahraa) and the best striker (Tbouda Abellah, 7 goals).
Two individual distinctions escaped the Atlas Cubs. These are the best striker of the tournament (Pierrette Chigblo, Benin) and best player (Élie Baliamwabo, Congo).
Safraoui Mjamed is satisfied with Morocco's results. Even if he was aiming higher. We could have done better," he said. In the semi-final, against the DRC, we led throughout the match and we fell short at the end. I'm still happy with this tournament, it was a good experience for me.
Gianni Infantino's satisfaction
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the initiator of the competition, was present at the closing ceremony of the first pre-school tournament and expressed his satisfaction. ''I don't regret having spent a lot of money to organise this tournament, which has been a success," said the Italian leader. ''We think we have given these young people an opportunity to get together and celebrate football. Thank you to all the teams that were presented.''
For the president of the DRC's National Youth Football League, Zephyr Kanyinda, the challenge now is to climb higher. "You see that it is possible to organize this kind of competition. FIFA has managed to change things here at the Martyrs' Stadium in a few days to make this organization a success," he said. ''We started in a setting that was very criticized, the Kurara Mpova centre. We managed to organize this national phase despite the difficulties encountered. With more will and means, we can do something good.''