November 17, 2023
In a stunning display of skill and athleticism, the Freestyle Connect Africa 2023, held in Cairo, culminated in a triumphant moment for Ali Yahia (Algeria), Ramy Boujlil (Morocco), and Mohamed Gamal (Egypt), who claimed the top three spots, respectively.
The event, hosted by Feet ‘N’ Tricks International Limited (ww.feetntricks.com), the biggest promoter of freestyle football in Africa, on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, saw Algeria taking home the grand prize of $3000, followed by Morocco with $2000, and Egypt with $1000. In addition, they also received DLK Clothing Signature’s merchandise.
The competition was part of the broader Intra Africa Trade Fair (IATF2023), championed by AFREXIMBANK, in collaboration with the African Union and AFCFTA which held from November 9 to 15, with the theme, ‘One People, United in Culture, Creating for the World’. The theme emphasises the importance of African unity and the power of its rich cultural heritage in forging a brighter future.
It featured 14 elite athletes from across the continent, judged by three international freestyle legends, Joel Asare (former Ghanaian Champion), Ashley Mkhize (former South African Champion), and Yousef Ayman’ Yorok’ (former Egyptian Champion).
The event, which was held at the Al Manara International Conference Centre, was a cultural extravaganza and a testament to Africa’s rich heritage and unyielding spirit.
Iya Traoré, the Guinness World Record-holding freestyler from Guinea/Paris, delivered a breathtaking performance. Similarly, Raquel Benetti, the Brazilian freestyle virtuoso and Guinness World Record holder, captivated the crowd with her mesmerizing skills. The atmosphere was electrified by the beats of celebrity DJ Fat Sam, setting the tone for a high-energy contest.
Ahead of the main event, Feet ‘N’ Tricks also hosted the Egyptian National Freestyle Football Championships, showcasing local talent and further cementing the sport’s promoter’s commitment to promoting freestyle football in Africa. Mohannad Hossam emerged as the Egyptian Champion for 2023, Youssef Hossam took the 2nd prize, whole Mohamed Gamal (Gamey) came third.
Valentine Ozigbo, the Chairman of Feet’ N’ Tricks and a multiple-award-winning global CEO, expressed his enthusiasm in his welcome address, stating, “The exceptional skill and genuine passion exhibited today are truly unmatched.
“These freestylers transcend the realms of mere athleticism; they are artists and creators in their own right, communicating through a universal language that blends creativity with the ethos of sportsmanship.
“This event is not just a competition; it’s a celebration of African unity and talent. We are proud to collaborate with AFREXIMBANK and WFFA, bringing together the best of African freestyle football.”
Daniel Wood, the Co-Founder and Head of Partnerships at the WFFA, echoed these sentiments: “The WFFA deeply acknowledges Africa’s crucial role as the epicentre for the burgeoning growth of freestyle football.
“As a confirmation of this narrative and to celebrate Africa’s contribution to this dynamic sport, we are proud to announce that Nairobi, Kenya, will be hosting the prestigious World Football Freestyle Championship on Nov 25, 2023. Ali Yahia who emerged champion today is already billed to represent Africa at the World Championship.”
Adaeze Anyaoku, the Director of Events at AFREXIMBANK, the event’s main sponsor, highlighted the bank’s mission: “Our support for Freestyle Connect Africa aligns with our goal of fostering pan-African unity. Sports and culture are powerful tools for bringing people together, and we’re proud to be part of this incredible event. We are proud to partner with Feet’ N’ Tricks to bring this wonderful sport to IATF2023.”
The roster also included renowned names such as Yousef Hosam, Red Bull Street Style Egyptian Champion 2023; Larry Etuduvwun, Nigerian Panna Champion 2019; Mustafa Disha, former Egyptian Champion; Edward Murimi (Kenya); Mohamed Khaled ‘Peso’, a top freestyler and TikTok influencer in Egypt; Abdullah Emad, Sudanese Champion; Titi Cone, two-time African Champion and three-time Côte d’Ivoire Champion; Ala Balti (Tunisia); Ayoub Haouas, two-time Tunisian Champion; Sipho, South African Champion 2022; and Cecil Chiila (Zambia).
With the successful hosting of Freestyle Connect Africa 2023, Feet ‘N’ Tricks has set a new benchmark for freestyle football events, as routine battle was the first ever in the World, solidifying its position as the biggest promoter of the growing sport on the continent.