NSW African Cup to return this weekend with eight matches lined up for match-day one

The NSW African Cup is a family tournament that brings the community together

Africans in New South Wales will converge to the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Park in Rooty Hills to cheer the teams from the stands as the 2023 NSW African Cup will officially kick off on Saturday 14th of October.

Eight matches lined up to play across four fields in the park at 3 pm and 5 pm respectively. In the 3:00 pm matches, last year’s champions, Cape Verde will open their campaign against Togo at field 7, runners-up Zimbabwe will engage Congo Brazzaville at field 8, South Sudan will be facing Egypt at field 9 and Sudan will be locking horns with Senegal at field AQ.

Later in the evening, the Central Africa Republic will play against Tanzania at field 7, Ghana will engage Sierra Leone at field 8, Liberia will face South Africa at field 9 and Nigeria will entertain DR Congo at field AQ.

According to the President of the NSW African Cup, Bernard Muchemwa, this year they are planning to put together 42 teams, made up of 20 senior men’s teams, 6 women, and 14 juniors from 20 communities.

“The tournament is going to be very big because our partner is going to come in also and help us to make it bigger. And we’re going to advertise the tournament so that the greater, generally the African community can come in also the Australian community”.

“The Western Sydney Wanderers football club. They are going to take a much greater role this year to make sure this tournament is one of the biggest ever. They will help us with logistics”.

“We expect the teams to be even more disciplined and I’ve already thanked them for being disciplined in the past where the tournament ended well, without issues, without any security issues. We expect it to be more and more secure for all African communities to come and enjoy”, Muchemwa lamented.

“This is a family event and we want it to remain as a family event and encourage more families to come and have fun with us”.

He said the tournament is deeply connected to the Africans in Australia. Because all Africans of all shades, come in their numbers to watch their teams played. There are so many countries represented. Assuring, that there will be more than 40 teams from 20 countries playing this year.

“That’s how deeply rooted it is in the African community. Africans look forward to this tournament. Every summer, they know there’s a tournament that brings them together. And they’re anxious and eagerly waiting for it”, he added.

“We are going to increase the number of security. We’re going to work in and around the venues where games are going to be played and we’ve got our own marshals and we’ve got a security plan in place as well to make sure that everything is as what happened last year or even better and we will work hand in hand with the police in the area so that they can do routine police patrols just to check that everything is going on well”.

“First and foremost, this year all our games are going to be refereed by three officials. So it’s not going to happen again. You know as we said before, our women’s competition is a zero budget, it’s a competition we wanted to grow but we didn’t have to wait for resources”.

“But we said okay even with limited resources let’s just start it and we have to manage it strategically in a way that at least with the little we have the competition goes on. But we’ve now grown, you know this competition has been going on for many years, the NSW African Cup boss mentioned.

“So in terms of referees, the females are going to get their three referees, the juniors are going to have their three referees and we are talking to the referee’s coordinator and we would make it known to the coordinator that he must try to give us better referees”, he assured.

“You see, the thing is we are not the only community organization running soccer tournaments in summer and the same person is the one who allocates all the referees so he also has challenges but he will try as much as possible to make sure that the referees are better this year”, he said.

“We’re going to increase that obviously we’re going to try to increase the incentive of the tournament and give the champions more prize money as compared to 2022”.

“We want the spectators to be calm. This is only a sport. Referees are human. They also make mistakes. It’s all fun. It’s all for us to unite. It’s all for us to be one people. You know, the African Cups, unite all Africans in Australia, especially in New South Wales, so that we understand the unity and culture of Africans”, Muchemwa pleaded.  

“We keep the youth out of trouble, and out of stress, by using football to occupy their minds for the next three months. And also for those who want to pursue their careers, it’s an opportunity”, he acknowledged.

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