Eto’o visits South Africa to grace the second edition of Castle Lager's tourney
Almost every football fan in South Africa was quite curious as to why one of Africa’s greatest footballers was in town. And rightly so. He wouldn’t be coming to ply his trade in the ABSA premier league, would he? Well, fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you see it) the four-time African footballer of the year, Samuel Eto’o, was in the country for the promotion of the Africa 5s tournament.
Having been successful last year (2018) during its inauguration, Castle Lager’s inaugural Africa 5s social football league competition made a return this year and further widened its reach to new markets. This year’s addition to the initial group of five countries (Eswatini, Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) will see the inclusion of new markets namely, Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria. In terms of how the tournament will unfold, each participating country will hold competitions at national level and the champions will go on to play in the continental tournament, which will take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Introduction of Women’s competition adds a twist
More interesting is the fact that Castle Lager has further diversified by introducing a women’s league. Such a move is considered as being the brand’s efforts to align its values of inclusivity as well as social belonging. Castle Lager Brand Director, Vaughan Croeser spoke on the occasion saying, “the inclusion of women is not only integral in sustaining societal interactions but an emphasis on Castle Lager’s position of being at the forefront of fortifying bonds and friendships. We are excited about the inclusion of Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda as that will expand our footprint across the African continent and cement Castle Lager’s role of creating and sustaining friendships beyond borders.” Similarly, Eto’o was also delighted at the inclusion of the women’s league. He commented that “I’m very happy and excited that the South African women qualified for the World Cup. I’m happy about the girls joining these games because they have a place in a competition like this. It’s women’s time all around the world and so it’s exciting to see this.”
What’s even more interesting are the people spearheading this campaign. These are Eto’o himself, former Mamelodi Sundowns defender Matthew Booth, Tanzania’s Ivan Mapunda, Zimbabwean legend Tinashe Nengomasha, former Jomo Cosmos marksman Christopher Katongo, Eswatini’s Siza Dlamini and lastly Amanda Dlamini from the South African Women’s league who will be the first women ambassador of the competition.
That said, the ultimate winners will walk-away with an all-expenses-paid trip to a Serie A match in Milan, where they will have a chance of hanging out with the former Barcelona and Inter Milan forward.