Airtel Rising Star tourney starts on Saturday
THIS YEAR’S edition of the Airtel Rising Stars teen football championship kicks off today and will run for eight weeks across the country.
The U-17 football tournament gets underway at the grassroots level before culminating into the national finals.
The tournament kicks off officially at Kicukiro turf before traversing the whole country with boys and girls playing at regional level in various playing fields across the country. Ferwafa scouts will be out to identify talent of the youngsters.
This year’s tournament will feature 80 teams; 48 boys’ teams and 32 girls’ teams from all four regions of the country. Players eligible to compete in the tournament must be under the age of 17. The tournament is to help the federation get players, who will feature for the national junior teams.
The national finals will be followed by an inter-country tournament that brings together star players selected from across countries in Africa to compete in the continental championships which will be held in Gabon in August.
While this will be the second edition of the Airtel Risings Stars in Rwanda, the fourth edition of the initiative is take place in 16 countries across Africa.
The best teams of each country will be pitted against each other in the Airtel Africa Championship. The winning teams will receive a total of Rwf8mwhich will be put towards the players’ education.
The Airtel Rising Stars initiative, the biggest Under-17 grassroots tournament on the African continent, aims at identifying talent and nurturing upcoming footballers.
This is one of the few football equal opportunity initiatives that targets boys and girls.
Last year, Rubavu based Lionceaux beat Rwamagana 3-0 to clinch the title.