CAF launches ‘Kick & Learn’ Project: Prioritizing education for future African football stars

Fans hoping to attend games at the Africa Cup of Nations have been frustrated in their efforts to get tickets, and yet matches have been played in half-empty stadiums.

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Ivory Coast

In a bid to shape the future of African football and instill values beyond the pitch, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has unveiled its groundbreaking initiative, “Kick & Learn.” This project marks a significant shift in the approach towards nurturing young talents, emphasizing the crucial role of education alongside football training.

The primary objective of “Kick & Learn” is to safeguard the well-rounded development of aspiring football professionals. CAF recognizes the challenges that footballers face at the twilight of their careers and is taking proactive measures to prevent the same pitfalls for the next generation of stars.

Through this project, CAF is sending a clear message to students and future footballers: education takes precedence. The confederation believes that a holistic approach, combining athletic prowess with academic excellence, is key to building resilient and responsible individuals both on and off the field.

Former Nigerian international, Daniel Amokachi, now a television consultant, has been actively involved in conveying this message to young students. He emphasizes the importance of education by sharing his own experience, underscoring that a solid educational foundation is indispensable, even for those who have reached the pinnacle of their football careers.

Salomon Kalou, a former Ivorian international, echoes this sentiment, stating that education and sports are inseparable. Drawing on his personal journey, Kalou highlights the invaluable opportunity he and others had in a training center where both education and sports were given equal importance.

In response to the emphasis on education, the CAF is restructuring the format of the African School Championship. This strategic move aims to integrate educational components seamlessly into the sporting journey of young talents, ensuring that they are equipped not only with football skills but also with a well-rounded education.

Veron Mosengo, the Secretary-General of CAF, emphasizes the importance of this initiative. The confederation, under the leadership of President Patrice Motsepe, is deeply concerned about the post-career image of football professionals. Motsepe, recognizing the potential challenges that young stars may face, is raising the alarm early, advocating for the indispensable role of education alongside football.

“Kick & Learn” represents a paradigm shift in African football development, marking a departure from the conventional emphasis solely on athletic prowess. As CAF paves the way for a new era of football, the integration of education stands as a beacon, guiding the next generation of African football stars towards success both on and off the field.

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