Vancouver: African Soccer tournament August 14

7 August 2010 at 02:03 | 2474 views

The African-Canadian annual soccer tournament organized by the British Columbia-based African-Canadian Soccer and Cultural Association (ACSCA) is always eagerly awaited by soccer fans from all the communities in BC.

Last year’s tournament was held in the city of Surrey, in BC. Burnaby will be the host city this year, as ACSCA executive and board members put the finishing touches to this year’s soccer jamboree. The tournament will be held Saturday August 14 at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.

ACSCA was formed over 16 years ago by a group of African-Canadians with a love for soccer, many of whom were famous soccer stars in their home countries in Africa before they emigrated to Canada. So they regularly met, usually on weekends, just to play soccer, until the idea of organizing a tournament came up one day. The rest, as they say, is history. Among the founders were Ocheng Lubayi and Adebo and Dr. Olal Andrew.

Female soccer players, Vancouver, Canada. Top photo: Male players.

Women and children also participate with their own tournaments for which there are separate trophies. During the two-day affair there is usually lots of music and lots of food from, excellent cuisine from various countries in Africa and the Caribbean. So this tournament is not just about soccer, but also a means to bring together the various African communities in the province, to forge links, unite and socialize.

The current crop of ACSCA leaders include the president, Patrick Obaze(originally from Nigeria), Bobson Sesay (Sierra Leone), Jerry Gbardy (Liberia), Ocheng Lubayi (Uganda), Cooper Leiman (Liberia), Alex Touray (Sierra Leone), Adebo Mahmoud (Uganda), Justus Mirembe(Uganda),Tariku Tesfa (Ethiopia), Dominic Usseni (Mozambique), Wavu Kumdinda (Angola), Gibril Koroma (Sierra Leone) Taiwo, alias Eazy (Nigeria), Alie (Somalia), Jean-Jacques Bosco (Rwanda), Patrick Otulio (Sudan) and Mandla Sibiya (South Africa).

ACSCA acting secretary Jerry Gbardy says everything is ready for this big tournament.

"I am looking forward to Liberia winning this year, but if that does not happen and a country like Sierra Leone wins, I will be very happy because Sierra Leone and Liberia are neighbours and the two countries are part of the Mano River Union."

Last year’s winner in the tournament was South Africa.

Photo credit: ACSCA.