BENGALURU: For the first time, the Association of African Students in India, Bengaluru (ASSI-B), will be organising a football tournament for girls on Women’s Day.
About six African countries have confirmed their participation and eight teams have been formed. “All the players are amateurs and have not played professionally. Most of them are college-going students,”says David Amum, secretary general of ASSI-B. “They are nervous but will enjoy, fall and have fun playing the game,” says David. “I just tell them to kick the ball and everything else will follow,” he adds.
Jennifer Fatogun, who is half Nigerian and half Indian, will be the only referee at the tourney.
“I am not a professional, I just like the game but have never refereed before,” Fatogun says. “Since it is a fun event I don’t think we need to be a pro.
I just hope everybody who is participating has a good time.”
The ASSI-B is collaborating with the Federation of International Student’s Association Bangalore, an African student’s group from Acharya College.
While a majority of the players will be Africans, the organisation is expecting a diverse group. “We are waiting for confirmation from Mongolia and few other Asian countries.” he says. “But most of all we want the locals to participate in the tournament. This will help build the relationship of the locals and the foreigners,” he adds.
However, no local teams have shown up so far.
David Amum, who recently gave a talk on at Amnesty International on the plight of African students’ in the city, hopes that the game will dispel the misconception about cultures.
“It so happens that the locals are scared of us and we are scared of them. The game, we hope, can change that and empower women in the game, which most people think as a man’s game,” David adds.
The one-day football event will end with a panel dicussion where participants will share their experiences. Cultural shows and ethnic fashion shows will also be held along side the event. The participants will be all women.