ADDIS ABEBA – The Coca-Cola Company launched on Thursday the fifth season of its annual COPA football tournament in Ethiopia, in partnership with the Ethiopian Football Federation.
The launch event was conducted at Capital hotel in Addis Abeba, in the presence of representatives from Coca-Cola, East Africa Bottling Share Company and the Ethiopian Football Federation, among other stakeholders.
The COPA tournament, which will be held for the following three months, will engage 2500 boys and girls teams and conduct football matches with over 45,000 youth under the age of 15.
Of these, 500 schools will participate in a recycling program, by collecting used plastic bottles and crowns for the chance to win a football pitch for their respective school.
Coca-Cola organized the recycling initiative in partnership with PAC, as part of this year’s COPA tournament.
When asked about the significance of this year’s Football tournament, at the opening event, Coca-Cola’s Franchise Manager, Alem Alemayehu expressed his enthusiasm for this year’s theme.
“In conjunction with the Copa tournament, this year’s objective is to educate school-aged youth about the importance of recycling for a litter-free environment,” he said.
“Coca-Cola will recognize and reward the school with the highest collection of plastic bottles and crowns to encourage good recycling habits for the future”.
The franchise manager added that the winning school would get a chance to win a football pitch, while runner-up schools will receive books, stationery, and equipment.
The Deputy Secretary of the Ethiopian Football Federation Solomon G/Sellassie believes “such programs are essential to provide inspiration and support for our youth”.
The event, he said, “not only to develop football in Ethiopia but to inspire young players and help them to improve their skills in the sport, enabling them to become better players in the future.”
Following the completion of this season’s school competitions, the winning school teams (1 boys’ and 1 girls’ team, per school) will be selected from each region, to represent their respective regions, at the national tournament.
Top players from the regional semi-finals will be chosen in the tournament’s final week and the two top teams will compete for the COPA Coca-Cola Finals.