Copa Coca Cola action is heating up as 32 teams across age groups, will converge in Gaborone to decide this year’s four winners.
Three of the four defending champions will be in the capital, but Nthwalang Community Junior Secondary School, who won last year’s Under-15 girls title, were knocked out in the elimination stages.
But Under-15 boys champions, Batanani from Mapoka, Under-17 winners, Radisele (both boys and girls) are back to defend their crowns in what should be an exciting contest over three days from July 17 to 19.
Global non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer, Coca Cola has increased its sponsorship to P1.2million for this year’s tournament, up from P800,000 in 2018, which should be an added incentive for the teams.
The schools tournament has produced numerous stars, some who have gone on to represent the country. Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele is a product of the tournament, and has gone on to star in the South African Premiership.
Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) public relations officer, Letsweletse Jonas said, like in previous years, they expect top flight teams to send their scouts to watch the budding talents.
“We expect people to attend from across, including players who have been products of this tournament,” Jonas said.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Coca Cola has been bankrolling the schools tournament, after taking a decision, in 2012, to shift focus to grassroots development.
Coca Cola used to sponsor the country’s premier knock-out FA Cup, before turning to schools soccer.