All roads lead to the city of Bremen on 7 July when the 13th African Football Cup 2019 kicks off. A total of 16 national teams representing their countries of origin in Africa will lock horns for the prestigious trophy over five Sundays. The participants in the tournament, organised by the Pan-Afrikanischer Kulturverein e.V. (Pan-African Cultural Association), represent members of the 9,000 strong African community in Bremen.
The preliminary rounds of the competition, which takes place from Sunday, 7 July – Sunday 13 August, will hold in Stadtwerder on the grounds of the ATS Bundentor. The qualified teams will slug it out in the final rounds at the arena of the FC Union 60 in Pauliner Marsch, Bremen.
One of the aims of the African Football Cup Bremen is to give young African players the opportunity to showcase their talents, according to Chief Tala Awolola, chairman of the Pan-African Cultural Association
Another objective of the football festival is to create a sporting alternative for African families who could not travel to their home countries in summer, he explained.
The number of spectators has been rising year after year and it has meanwhile become one of the major events in Bremen, said Awolola, who is originally from Nigeria.
African football Cup Bremen, which was staged for the first time in 2003, has its roots in a group of Africans who gathered on weekends to play in the Pauliner Marsch at the turn of the Millennium. They decided to organise a regular contest among African groups in Bremen. The Pan-African Cultural Association was formed later to professionally organise the football competition.
From the 5 teams that took part in 2003, the number of participating sides has risen to 16 with 6 additional ones on the waiting list for the 13th edition of the Cup. “They would like to play but we couldn’t accommodate them [the reserve teams] because of our limited capacity to field all the interested teams,” Chief Awolola said. The organisers’ limited resources also forced it to skip the event last year.
The 16 teams will be divided into groups of four for the preliminary rounds on 7, 14 and 21 July at the ATS Buntentor. On 28 July, the leading two teams in each group will lock horns at Stadtwerder where the final will take place on Sunday, 11 August. The Mandela Cup, a competition for young players as well as the African Cultural Day will take place a day before the grand final at the same venue.
Among special guests expected to attend the final of the 2019 Africa Cup are Bremen’s minister for social, youth and women affairs, Ms Anja Stahmann, and HE Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Nigeria’s ambassador to Germany.
More information about the African Football Cup Bremen 2019 here