From January 24, 2016 to March 20, 2016, hundreds of young football enthusiasts from 32 regions across Ivory Coast will come together to contest for the 2016 COPA Coca-Cola Championships. In Ivory Coast, the COPA tournament is held in partnership with the Ivorian Office for the Promotion of Sports in Schools and Universities (OISSU) whose mandate involves the development of sports in public institutions of learning. OISSU's role in Ivory Coast's sports performance in Africa is recognized and appreciated by all. At the launch ceremony, Coca-Cola represented by Mr. Don Dussey, senior public affairs and communications manager signed a partnership agreement in which OISSU will take the lead in organizing COPA matches while Coca-Cola will provide the financing and the Branding of the match venues. Inaugurated in Ivory Coast in 2013, the third edition of COPA Coca-Cola was launched at a ceremony graced by the Ivorian Minister of Sports Mr. Albert Francois AMICHIA. Stakeholders from the sporting fraternity and media partners also attended the launch. The Minister expressed gratitude and commended Coca-Cola for its contribution to sports development in Ivory Coast. He said, “We hope that other private companies will emulate the example of Coca-Cola for the sponsorship of sports development in Ivory Coast. For us it is encouraging to have global brands like Coca-Cola supporting our youth development agenda and allow the most talented of them to showcase their skills. We could not have been Africa Football Champions without the early talent detection of our players”
The finalists from the 2015 COPA Coca-Cola who had attended the International COPA Camp in Germany in summer 2015 featured at the launch. The boys who are now passionate COPA Coca-Cola Ambassadors recounted their experience in Germany and appealed to other boys to participate at the tournament.
Speaking for Coca-Cola, Don Dussey said, “Coca-Cola is proud to offer young skillful players exposure and an opportunity to showcase their talent to football academies and clubs which could be a launching pad for a great career in football”.
Eight teams which qualify from the preliminary matches will battle it out for the title in Yamoussoukro, a town in Côte d'Ivoire from March 12-19, 2016.