Youth Programs in Nigeria
Thanks to the support of the VOE Foundation, the FC Bayern Youth Cup took place in 2019 for the second time in Africa.
The national qualifications already started in January 2019. They were played in the following cities:
- Abuja 18th — 20th of January
- Lagos 25th — 27th of January
On 2nd/3rd of February, the final matches of the FC Bayern Youth Cup were played in Nigeria. The tournament in West Africa originally started with more than 500 participants. More than 100 participants from eight teams gathered in Lagos for the final. The young, talented players set a very high standard. Besides Klaus Augenthaler, the matches were watched by high-ranking guests such as Nigerian national coach Gernot Rohr, former Bundesliga player Victor Agali and representatives of the German Consulate. At the end of the day, the 1990 World Champion selected the ten best players to represent their country in the World Final of the FC Bayern Youth Cup in Munich.
The selected players were looking forward to a 5-day training camp with FC Bayern in Munich and many highlights. Besides a “Freestyle Football Challenge”, the personal Meet & Greet with Manuel Neuer was an unforgettable experience for the players. On Saturday, the youngsters visited the last Bundesliga home match in the Allianz Arena, including the subsequent championship celebration. On Sunday, the boys were allowed to enter the “sacred grass” themselves to determine the winner of the FC Bayern Youth Cup 2019. The team Nigeria faced the teams from China, USA, Singapore, Thailand, India and Germany and reached a good fifth place in the end.
The ninth international FC Bayern Youth Cup started in Nigeria at the end of January. It’s the third time it has been staged in the West African country with the local qualifying rounds staged in 14 cities in November and December last year. Over 7,000 teenagers took part in the various qualifying tournaments. Our FC Bayern ambassador Giovane Elber attended the national final at the end of January — his first ever visit to Nigeria.
Before the finals of the FC Bayern Youth Cups were played in Lagos on 25 and 26 January, Elber had already completed a large number of media events and visited a TV studio in Abuja. There was also a training session including working with coaches from the regional football association in Abuja on the agenda of our former exceptional striker. He then headed for Lagos. His arrival was eagerly awaited by the youngsters.
Giovane also brought the Meisterschale with him so that the young players and all other people visiting the tournament were able to have their photo taken with our FC Bayern legend. The ten best players were selected at the end of the day and chosen as representatives of their country for the finals in Germany. As usual, not only the players taking part were able to get up close to FC Bayern but also fans and fan clubs had the chance to gather some unforgettable memories and experiences.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19-Pandemic, the 9th consecutive edition of the Youth Cup sadly had to be rescheduled. We are hoping to bring the project back to Nigeria in 2021 and see the Nigerian team compete in the world final.