Following a successful partnership in 2016, Coca-Cola South Africa has confirmed that former Bafana Bafana, Mamelodi Sundowns and Platinum Stars striker, Hareaipha ‘Simba’ Marumo, will return to lead the COPA Coca-Cola ‘Which Part Will You Play’ All-Star selection panel. The Provincial Finals, which are set to take place from 3 June to 9 September 2017, will see teams battle it out for a chance to represent their province at the National Finals come October.
Marumo, who also took on the role of the coach, led the 2016 Which Part Will You Play All-Star team to a clinical 2-0 victory against a highly talented and stable Bloemfontein Celtic Academy side in a televised curtain-raiser match ahead of the final.
“It is a great honour for me to rejoin the COPA Coca-Cola team. I would like to thank Coca-Cola for affording me this opportunity to once again lead a panel of football experts in selecting standout players at each Provincial Final that will form part of the tournament’s ‘Which Part Will You Play’ All-Star team. It’s no secret that I’m passionate about grassroots football in South Africa, something me and Coca-Cola have in common. I look forward to uncovering new talent on the field this year”, said a delighted Marumo.
Marumo and his team of football experts will visit all nine Provincial Finals in search of young players who embody and represent the dynamic and unique roles needed to make up a successful team – The Rock, the Heart, the Perfectionist, the Rebel, the Joker, the Impossible, the Machine, the Artist, the Mastermind and the Legend. Players fitting these characteristics will be selected to form the ‘Which Part Will You Play’ All-Star team, and act as personifications of the values COPA Coca-Cola aims to instill in its young participants.
Phindile Phiri, Coca-Cola South Africa’s Marketing Assets Manager said, “We’re delighted to bring Simba back on board as the ambassador for the ‘Which Part Will You Play’ search. He did a sterling job in 2016 when he travelled across the country in search of 11 talented players to form part of the team that went on to beat the Bloemfontein Celtic Academy in the National Finals invitational match. It is through our sponsorship of the COPA Coca-Cola u15 Tournament that we’re able to play a part in the development of football in South Africa, and we are therefore proud to be able to give future stars the platform they deserve.”
The president of SASFA Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko said: “The partnership between Coca-Cola and SASFA has shown that dreams are valid and can be realized as early as the age of 15 through this tournament. We are excited about the return of the exciting COPA Coca-Cola ‘Which Part Will You Play’ segment of the tournament which sees the unearthing of new, dazzling talent for the future.”
Coca-Cola is challenging South Africans, both young and old, to determine which part they will play in allowing young footballers to be the best they can be, both on and off the pitch.
With over 1.3 million teenagers from more than 60 countries taking part, COPA Coca-Cola is recognised globally as the leading grassroots football programme in the world.