The „Afrika Sport Club Köln“ was a nonprofit club, which was founded in the 80s and especially dedicated itself to the sport of football.
Two years ago, the second generation of the club gave rise to the „Afrika Fußball Club Köln“, using the basic ideas of the old club. And suddenly a new club was born, in which players from different, primary African, origin got together as a team, to pursue their passion for playing football with religious and ideological tolerance.
Since approximately one year, the club is partaking in the games of the eighth division D-scale 5 and we had the chance to talk to captain Cédric Ayibiga Mferi about the clubs activities:
1. Who are your members?
The members of our board are from Gabon, Senegal and Cameroon. Our players are from Algeria, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, France, Gabon, Guinea, Italy, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Chad, Tunisia,Turkey and Uganda, which means, that our team is compound by 17 different African (and also European) nations. Furthermore there are some young men with refugee status among our players, who are living in Germany less than two years.
2. Do you consider yourself African or rather German?
We rather consider ourselves as Germans. But we all cherish our African culture and the respective influences from our parents and relatives.
3. What is the strength of your team?
Our team distinguishes itself by its huge team spirit, but also by its individual class.
4. How often do you exercise and what kind of successes have you already achieved as a team?
Our team is exercising twice a week and normally there is a team game on the weekend. Our biggest success certainly is our existence. After the resolution of the old club there wasn’t an African Club who actively participated in football games for more than a decade. We changed that.
5. How is the composition of your audience? Does it mainly consist out of Africans or are other nations also represented?
Our audience is mainly of African origin, but a lot of them are the second or even third generation living in Germany. We only have two players, who don’t have African roots, an Italian, a German and a guy from Turkey.
6. How can football contribute to cultural exchange?
In a very good way. Your getting to know other cultures and languages. We can especially help our refugees and give them an understanding of German values and the German culture. Furthermore, playing football helps our guys with the development of their language skills, which in turn, helps them to orient themselves in their everyday life.
7. What are your plans for the club’s future?
Our short term aim definitely is the ascendency of our team. In the long term we would like to register more teams and gain new members. But our biggest aim is to be engaged in youth work.
8. Are you looking forward to the Africa Cup 2017? What does this sport event mean to you?
I’m really looking forward to it, because I will trace the event in Gabon, the homeland of my father – and also venue of the competition. The members of our team are also zealously discussing who will win the title and everyone wishes, that his home country will be the winner.
9. Are you going to watch the games together?
I will be in Gabon, so I can’t be with the rest of the team. But the team will certainly watch some of the games together.
10. Which team is your favorite in the Africa Cup of Nations 2017?
Since I have Gabon roots, I really want Gabon to win, especially because it’s the host of the event. With Aubameyang we are very strong in the offensive. Secret favorite however is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the usual favorites Algeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana. So the Event will be very exciting.
This interview was part of our recent Africa Cup of Nations-Magazine! Download it here!