Since 2003, Asia has hosted the Premier League Asia trophy which is also known as the Barclays Asia Trophy. It is a four-team tournament consisting of the home team and three premier league football teams.
The tournament which is hosted every two years before a Premier League season has proven successful in Asia due to the increasing popularity of the Barclays Premier League (BPL) in Asia.
The same might soon be said for Africa. Richard Scudamore, the Premier League’s Executive chairman has said that a pre-season tournament in the same vein as the Premier League Asia Trophy could be hosted in Africa. He also hinted at having the tournament hosted in America as well.
“Maybe we will bring one of our international tournaments [to Africa],” Scudamore told BBC Sport. “We have one in Asia and probably, at some point, Africa and America will have to feature.”
Sudamore got this inspiration while he was at a BPL Live event in Cape Town. The event saw the BPL matches being displayed on big screens, with about 35,000 Premier League football fans present.
These events are like a theme park for Premier League fans,” added Scudamore. “They are good because people can come and touch and feel and be part of something – we will do more and more of these fan events.”
Africans are one of the biggest fans of the BPL. Every weekend, a lot of Africans sit huddled at bars, or in the comfort of their homes staring at big screens in anticipation of their favorite PL team cinching the coveted 3 points and making it to the top of the table.
The BPL has also had a number of Africans in the tournament who have had/currently have successful careers including Nigeria’s Kanu Nwankwo, Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba, Yaya and Kolo Toure also from Ivory Coast, Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, Nigeria’s John Mikel Obi even new big names like Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi.