Kibuli SS players in the traditional Kitenge wear during the cultural performance | Credit: David Isabirye


By and large, the 2023 ISF WSC football tournament was a combination of football, networking chain, cultural diversity celebrations, tourism and education as well.

The recently concluded 2023 International School Sport Federation (ISF) World School football championship hosted by the Royal Kingdom of Morocco in Rabat city was a complete success.

France won the boys’ category, pipping hosts Morocco 1-0 in the epic finale at the historic 56,000 seater Moulay Abdellah stadium.

France and China 1 players being popped with champagne on the podium | Credit: David Isabirye

The female gender cluster was an all-China affair with China 1 edging China 2 during another pulsating encounter.

The tournament proper was a captivating six day’s action packed menu with luring as many as 1200 players from 28 countries of the world.

Thousands of successful passes and dribbles were executed as well as tackles evaded, with umpteenth attempts to find the back of the net made.

Definitely, hundreds of goals were scored in varying fashion and style via close range and long range shots, beautiful acrobatic overhead kicks, headers, penalties as well as simple tap-ins.

Bran Toto Majub with an acrobatic volley past the England goalkeeper | Credit: David Isabirye
Morocco Vs St Noa Girls action | Credit: David Isabirye

Played by U-18’s, this tournament was a viable platform for budding footballers to freely showcase their skills as they further develop to become the next big stars in global football.

A colorful performance by the Morocco school students at the 56,000 seater historic Moulay Abdellah Stadium will forever leave lasting impressions.

This breathe-taking performance literally lit up the games’ moods and set the tone ablaze as the different countries majestically marched around the stadium with their respective national flags in a typical show of nationalism and patriotism.

Uganda National flag during the opening ceremony at Moulay Abedllah Stadium | Credit: David Isabirye

Morocco girls’ team portrayed the early signs of expected potent fight backs as they scored the equalizer against Uganda’s St Noa Girls Zzana in virtually the last minute of the official opening match.

Uganda 2 team (Amus College School) sent a strong statement of intent with the 26-1 humiliation of Nepal as tournament top scorer Allan Oyirwoth scored 7 goals to his name.

Football being a contact sport with aggressive, the youngsters (both boys and girls) competed to the best; fighting for every ball to squeeze that through ball, execute a successful dribble, create space for fast paced players and shot for glory as many times as possible.

Amus walloped Nepal 26-1 in the tournament’s biggest score line | Credit: David Isabirye
Miriam Ayoo celebrates one of St Noa Girls Zzana’s goals against France at Mohammed V sports complex in Rabat city | Credit: David Isabirye

This was the best time therefore for the world’s prospective young footballers from all the world’s continents to manifest their full potential as they are ushered into the professional players in the tomorrow years.

Tactics from the respective technical dockets also came to the fore and won games prior to, during and after games.

Cases of teams spying on their next opponents in line are well documented as the teams carefully planned ahead.

Kibuli S.S and Bulgaria players network after their classification game at FUS Sports Complex | Credit: David Isabirye

During games, coaches with the best techniques definitely had an edge over their opposition with clear cut decisions to make, alternations during matches, the right line ups and systems of play deployed.

It was a family celebration for many parents, guardians, care-takers, friends and well-wishers of the players in action as amplified by the French parents who cheered every move for their sons and daughters in action.

The ISF president Laurent Petryanka hinted on the need to create the parents commission on the administrative docket of this world’s schools’ body.

Uganda state minister of sports Peter Ogwang, ISF president Laurent Petryank, USSSA president Justus Mugisha with other leaders and parents | Credit: David Isabirye
Parents of French players cheered their sons and daughters | Credit: David Isabirye
Parents and other family members with a French player | Credit: David Isabirye

Whereas it was fire on the playing area, with celebrations for teams and players off the field of play.

After the grueling football action, teams had guided tours around the Kingdom of Morocco’s treasured tourists’ sites that included the national museum of contemporary and modern art.

The museum has an enviable collection of varying artifacts and drawings as well as the 1191 built historic Hassan Tower.

Art works displayed on the wall inside the Mohamed V contemporary and modern art museum in Rabat city | Credit: David Isabirye
Inside the Mausoleum of Mohammed V | Credit: David Isabirye

The cultural and nations’ night festivities capped the icing on the tournament’s already baked cake as the different countries exhibited their respective cultures through native languages, songs, dances, dressing attires, arts and foods, among others.

The Morocco brass band with an assortment of music instruments wooed many at the recreational park.

Brenda Asiimwe and Grace Abalo show off the women traditional Gomesi wear common in Uganda | Credit: David Isabirye
Team Uganda during the cultural performances in Rabat, Morocco | Credit: David Isabirye

Uganda was equally present in the cultural and nation’s night with the performance of Romeo Odong’s “Philili Yoo Leng” song mesmerizing many.

Education too was never left out of the box as the different coaches, players and officials were taken through the ISF Academy education programs.

First, the coaches had a refresher course by FIFA experts at the Association Sportive Des Forces Armees Royales complex.

Group photo of students after the Safeguarding in Sport session | Credit: David Isabirye

This was followed by Anti-Doping training and Safe Guarding in Sport sessions for students and officials.

These sessions took place at the lavish University of Rabat Amphitheatres.

Polish Attorney Marta Tomkiewicz Januszewska lectured about the Anti-Doping rules with a detailed presentation concerning the preamble of doping, history of anti-doping activities and definition of doping, reasons why athletes dope, anti-doping rule violations as well as the Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs).

“Anti-Doping is intended to ensure a clean sport for a constant quality of sport. The doping ban is to protect health of athletes, preserve social value of sport and guarantee equality during competitions” Tomkiewicz who is a member of the Poland Anti-Doping Commission remarked.

The safe guarding in sport session was conducted by the duo of Doherty Kieran (workshop leader for safe guarding) and Charles Oriana.

St Noa Girls school Zzana players and officials celebrate after beating Germany 2-0 in the bronze medal match | Credit: David Isabirye

By and large, the 2023 ISF WSC football tournament was a combination of football, networking chain, cultural diversity celebrations, tourism and education as well.

As China gears up for the 15th edition next year (17th to 27th May 2024), the different countries will definitely long to prepare adequately and be part of this fiesta in Dalia city.

Kibuli SS coaches Moses Kayemba and Emuron Recoba pose with a sculpture. | Credit: David Isabirye
Amus College School students pose outside the national museum | Credit: David Isabirye

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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