The regional championship is a crucial stepping stone to international football for the players who take part and as holders, Zambia used last year’s tournament as a Launchpad to their crowning as African Champions and later an excellent showing at the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.
Mopani Copper Mines sponsors two clubs in the Zambia Super Division League, Nkana FC and Mufulira Wanderers FC. Nkana FC’s home ground at Nkana Stadium will host matches during the MOPANI Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championship.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mopani Copper Mines as headline sponsors of the 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships and thank them for their valuable input into the development of youth football in the Southern African region. This Under-20 championship has been the launchpad for many successful careers for players from across the region and we are sure that a number of new gems will be unearthed this year as well,” says Timothy Shongwe, chairman of COSAFA’s Competitions Committee.
“Mopani Copper Mines Plc is proud to be the Title sponsor for the COSAFA Under-20 Championship, during which part of the games will be played at our own Nkana Stadium in Kitwe,” says Acting Chief Executive Officer, Chris Vermeulen.
“As title sponsors, we believe this tournament will be successful and will inspire football players, especially the youth, to aim higher in life. It will also contribute to sport development in our country.
“Mopani Copper Mines Plc has a long history of supporting sports development, and football in particular, in Zambia.
“We are the proud major sponsors of the two most-decorated Super Division League football clubs, Nkana FC and Mufulira Wanderers FC and our company continues to invest in football infrastructure development at the two clubs to bring them to acceptable standards in the world. This has helped in boosting morale and performance at the two sponsored teams,” added Vermeulen.
“Mopani also sponsors a youth academy, Young Nkana FC, which contributed three players to last year’s Zambian Under-20 national team – the double winners of the African Youth Championships and COSAFA Under-20 Championships.
“The future of the sport lies in the youth, hence our decision to partner with COSAFA in sponsoring this year’s tournament.”