Potential sponsors need to consider youth leagues

Football world over, including Africa and Rwanda in particular need corporate sponsorship in order to grow, without it, it’s a waste of time to even think about youth development programmes.
Dr. Joseph Kamugisha
Dr. Joseph Kamugisha

Football world over, including Africa and Rwanda in particular need corporate sponsorship in order to grow, without it, it’s a waste of time to even think about youth development programmes.

That is why companies that come out of their comfort zones to play a leading role in developing the beautiful game we all love to enjoy must be commended.

For instance, Bralirwa, under their Primus brand have been exemplary in sponsoring the Rwandan football league over the last couple of years, and their new brand Turbo King has hit the road running this season.

Many big companies in different countries have periodically or consistently sponsored local leagues in their respective countries. The Nile breweries of Uganda, Tusker of Kenya, MTN and Super Sport both from South Africa among many others.

However, all these big companies throw all their monies on senior league, leaving the junior league and other youth development programmes with little to feed on yet it is the back bone of the beautiful game.

Over the decades there have been no potential promoters for African youngsters through promotion of youth football leagues. The massive exodus of young talents to Europe can largely be attributed to lack of adequate support in their original countries.

Football leagues in the Western world that are run professionally have great focus on youth development, unlike in Africa where many youth teams and leagues are looked at as luxury.

Sponsors or promoters should always not see who is doing what but what is done as this might change the mindset behind football sponsorship in Africa or any other underdeveloped world.

Africa really needs professionally run youth development programmes to raise the standards of the game. Many companies have been obstructed by the marketing strategies that target a particular group, which makes them invest more in senior leagues than youth football.

Today thousands of football scouts all over the world are looking for youngsters with special talents. We therefore need as many youth football teams as possible to boost or extract the super talents on the continent.

Africans have everything it requires to produce the best young football players but there is lack of support in terms of talent and career development, which requires money.

The lack of vision, passion and patience in youth development programmes is the basis of failure in many African countries and is the main reason why majority of the players have remained at amateur levels until they retire.

In Rwanda, with Turbo King taking over the sponsorship of the national league, why can’t someone else consider pumping a few million Francs into the juniors’ league? But first Ferwafa must enforce a rule that would require all top flight division clubs to have junior teams.

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