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Football | South Africa

Zambia, Namibia sides in Future Champs

Teams from Zambia and Namibia have been added to the field for the Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament in 2018, adding to the diversity of styles for the 10th edition of the prestigious junior competition.

This year’s tournament will field 12 sides in total and will be staged at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto between 19 and 24 March 2018, when the coveted trophy will once again be up for grabs.

They will join five sides from South Africa and five clubs from Europe in what is an exciting collection of teams for the event.

Nkana FC from Zambia will make their debut in the competition, with the Kitwe-based side 12-time champions of the Zambian Premier League.

Their last title came in 2013, to go with six victories in the country’s FA Cup.

The side finished third in the last Premier League season, missing out on the championship by just three points.

They are coached by Beston Chambeshi and have produced a number of players down the years for former African Nations Cup winners Zambia, including current stars Donashano Malama, Boston Muchindu and Moses Nyondo.

Top Namibian club Black Africa FC will also compete this year as they prepare to celebrate their 50-year centenary in 2019.

The side are 10-time Champions of the Namibian Premier League, including four titles in a row between 2011 and 2014. They are comfortably the most successful side in the country.

The Windhoek-based side have been inactive with the league not having been staged since the end of the 2015/16 campaign, but they continue to have a strong youth programme with some of the best players in the country.

They have two former German Bundesliga players among their coaching staff in the form of Collin Benjamin and Razundara Tjikuzu.

“The Namibians are looking forward to the Future Champions Tournament, bringing our future champs to meet the world,” Benjamin says.

Past winners of the Future Champions Gauteng International Tournament include Boca Juniors from Argentina in 2009, with Chinese side Shandong Luneng victors in 2010, before Atletico Mineiro claimed the next two and triumphed again in 2014.

Mexican side Club Tijuana won in 2013, Italy’s Torino in 2015 and Spain’s Atletico Madrid in both 2016 and 2017.

The Future Champions Gauteng tournament is organised by Global Sports International in conjunction with Gauteng’s Department of Sport, Culture and Recreation, and Department of Education, as well as the South African Football Association.


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