By Abdi Ali
Published October 4, 2016
A five-a-side football tournament is launching in Guangzhou, a Chinese town that is home to a large community of Africans drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Congo-Kinshasa, Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.
The tournament, dubbed MoneyGram Guangzhou Open African League (GOAL) and set to run for three consecutive Saturdays, kicks off on October 22, 2016 at the Act Club, Tianhebei Road. GOAL will culminate in the Grand Finals on November 5, 2016.
MoneyGram’s GOAL is reported to be bringing the soccer tournament to Guangzhou where the teams will have the opportunity to showcase their skills on a professional football field and win the Grand Prize of US$2000 for the best team and US$1000 for the runners-up.
â€œAt MoneyGram we constantly strive to â€˜bring people closerâ€™ through reliable money transfer services connecting families across geographies. As football plays such an important role in the everyday life of the African community, there is no better platform to bring those people closer across geographies,â€ says Sabrina Chan, MoneyGram’s marketing director in charge of Asia and China. â€œItâ€™s our hope that our shared love for football can strengthen the connection between the African community in Guangzhou and their loved ones back home.â€
Saying the tournament will showcase the best African football teams from the region competing for the championship trophy, Sabine Bauchau, MoneyGram’s marketing director in charge of Africa, says: â€œAs China has become a new, key corridor for Africa, we want to engage with the communities we serve.â€
Registration for MoneyGram GOAL, that opened on September 21 and runs through October 18, will feature 32 teams, each being represented by 8-10 players representing any African country.
The soccer tournament is sponsored by MoneyGram International, Inc, a global provider of money transfer and payment services.