Global Goals World Cup – East Africa 2020

March 8th – KCCA Stadium, Lugogo

Any sport that is being competed at the global stage warrants massive attention and needless to add deserves all the media hype and publicity for the obvious platform provided.

Uganda will host the Global Goals World Cup – East Africa 2020 on the international women’s day come 8th March at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo in Kampala.

The tournament launch is ear marked for 6th February 2020 at the exact venue of the tourney.

For starters, Global Goals World Cup is an amateur football that can be played by any women above 18. Eligible players can come from women groups, corporates, sports organisations or federations, and a group of friends. A normal team structure is made up 8 players.

Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye caught up with Mariam M. Mpaata, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Afrika Sports Foundation Centre and the main host Global Goals World Cup East Africa 2020.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Mariam M. Mpaata hands over the Global Goals football to Hon. Denis Hamson Obua the minister of state for sports during the recently held National Sports Forum hosted by NCS on 22nd January 2020 at Lugogo.

Here is the extract of the question and answer interview (verbatim).

Question: Greetings Mariam. There is excitement Uganda shall be hosting a global event. Please explain the Global Goals World Cup concept?

Mpaata: We have created this new type of world cup to leverage the universal power of sport to excite and unite, and to direct that power towards realising the UN Sustainable Development Goals and continue the work we have done for women in football since 2004.

The Global Goals World Cup (GGWCup) is an open women’s activist football tournament designed for women to expand the scope of a conventional sport event. We are comfortable at the intersection between sport, art, culture and activism. Our vision is to merge true global citizenship with the game of football.

Since 2016, we have hosted 14 tournaments across 5 continents together with local host partners. We hosted 4 Finals in New York City during the UN General Assembly Week / Global Goals Week in the third week of September.

Question: What is your role in the Global Goals World Cup?

 Mpaata: I am the local host for the Global Goals World Cup East Africa 2020, however I must give credit to Majken Gilmartin and her team in Denmark who created this awesome idea that has given women like me an opportunity to advocate for Global issues. Their dream started in 2016 with the vision to have Global Goals World Cups all over the world.

As a previous participant in both GGWCUP Nairobi 2017 and Johannesburg 2018, I am still overwhelmed by the idea that football changes the way we perceive life. I played as a goalkeeper in both events and I can tell women that football is a game for us too. We can use it to inspire younger talented girls, we can use the same to advocate for change. That is why I am passionate about this edition. My team and I are working very hard to bring together as many women as possible from all corners of East Africa. 

It therefore gives me much pleasure to invite all of you to join us on 8th March 2020 at Star times Stadium to celebrate International Women’s Day in style.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Specific branded balls are used for the Global Goals World Cup (Photo: Global Goals facebook)

Question: Who is eligible to play in this tournament?

Mpaata: Unlike the professional sports, the Global Goals World Cup is an amateur football that can be played by any women above 18.  Eligible players can come from women groups, corporates, sports organisations or federations, and a group of friends. A normal team structure is made up 8 players.  Over the years we have seen some very amazing teams, as a matter of fact this edition has two unique teams, Deaf united and Abigail’s Grandmaz.

Question: Why should we be excited about this tournament?

Mpaata: This is a win for Uganda because in just over 27 edition throughout the world, Uganda is among the five African countries to host the prestigious event. Kenya and South Africa hosted the tournament in 2017 and 2018 respectively while Nigeria and Morocco host the event this year in different months. The GGWCups have also been hosted in several cities all over the world: Copenhagen, New York, Bangkok, Dubai, Jordan, Mumbai, Prague, Dominica, Denmark Czech, Medellin, Cannes Lions, and Texas.  Uganda being the host for the East Africa edition 2020 is therefore a win for us. It gives us an opportunity to add our voice to global issues like the SDGs and ultimately help us create a better world. As a country we have a lot to show the rest of the world, our beautiful diverse culture, the natural resources and our sporting passion. We want to create world class event that will leave our visitors and the world in admiration of organizing skills and passion for women football.

Question: What are you expectations as organizers of the Global Goals World Cup?

Mpaata: As organizers, we want to give the event a first class feeling, we can brace ourselves for a great entertainment from the teams that have registered. They are diverse and unique in nature. It will be world cup like no other. Uganda being a force in the region for football, it can only get better when mothers, sisters, grandmothers get opportunities like these to experience the power of football and in return they offer their undying support to their children to play the game.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Young girls pose before a game during the global goals world cup (Photo: Eirsoccer)

Question: What is the format of play in the Global Goals World Cup? 

Mpaata: The Global Goals World Cup 2020 is an amateur women football that is played on a 5 aside basis with each game lasting 6 minutes.  Four points are given after each game. For best activation for a Global Goal, Creative style, Engaging the crowd and the actual football.  It is important to note that all teams come out as winners, winners in the fight to make communities better.

Question: How many teams are targeted?

Mpaata: Our target is to register 32 teams, as we speak 20 teams have registered for the tournament.  With 32 teams, it is anticipated that each team will play at least 3 to 4 matches.

Question: Which venue will host the Global Goals World Cup?

Mpaata: The Global Goals World Cup tournament will be hosted at StarTimes Stadium in Kampala.

This venue is big enough to accommodate 4 pitches. This will make the tournament lively and ease to manage.

Question: Of what value is playing in the Global Goals World Cup?

Mpaata: It is also important to note that when teams play in a Global Goals World cup tournament, they get the chance to play under an alternative set of football rules, whereby the adaptations were designed to make social impact, creativity and community support as important as a team’s football performance.  This four- point system has become a defining characteristic of the tournaments as it allows for a deeper integration of the sustainable development goals into football, leads to greater visibility and mobilization of crowds and aims to attract female players who might have been hesitant to sign up for and play in a normal football tournament.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports 2019 Global Goals World Cup in Prague (Photo: Alamy Stock)

Question: Who are some of the partners you have collaborated with?

Mpaata: It also takes great partners to make this happen, on the local scene, we have partnered with Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), the lead football organisation in the country. As it is sports is only as powerful as its supporters, therefore it is imperative that different stakeholders come on board to make this more worthwhile. It is also exciting and refreshing to see amazing Personalities appointed as Ggwcup East Africa 2020 Ambassadors and just to mention a few, Anisha Muhoozi , the CEO of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Football Club is taking on No Poverty, Naava Grey, a musician has also taken on Good Health And Well Being , Andrew Kabuura a sports journalist is passionate about Life on Land, Amos Wekesa, the Managing Director For Great Lakes Safari will be spearheading Affordable And Clean Energy. Racheal Magoola, a musician is passionate about Quality Education, Shamira Namutebi, the Executive Director of Uganda Muslim Women Civilization Initiative Is taking on the talk on Gender Equality and Paul Wakinoba, Mr. Albinism, is championing Responsible Consumption And Production to mention a few.

 Question: Deliver the final remarks

Mpaata: We are not leaving any one behind, everyone has the opportunity to join in.  If a woman does not get a team to play they too can be part of the tournament by joining the cheering squad, volunteering team or join our ambassadors to advocate for any of the 17 Goals. We want to make all women trust that they belong in the world including the sports world. That women have the power to create the change they dream to see. And to inspire women to let out their inner activist and fight for what’s important for them.


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