Mulanje West member of Parliament (MP-Democratic Progressive Party) Patricia ‘Akweni’ Kaliati has said she is considering the possibility of her constituency select team, Merchant Kaliati, joining the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) League.
The parliamentarian said this when her team hosted TNM Super League rookies Chitipa United in a friendly match at Namulenga Catholic Primary School Ground on Friday. Merchant Kaliati emerged 4-1 victors.
“There is a lot of talent in the rural areas, but what they lack is the platform to showcase their skills and one of the reasons for the formation of the Mulanje Constituency select side was to create such a stage.
“I am also consulting on the prospects of the team joining the regional leagues,” said Kaliati who was in her usual buoyant mood and joined her constituents in cheering their team throughout the match.
Kaliati also paid for Chitipa’s board and accommodation.
“When we heard that our brothers from Chitipa were coming here [for their Super League assignments], we took it as an opportunity to ask them for a friendly match and I thank them sincerely for accepting the request.
“It is one way of exposing our boys’ talents but also as a form of entertainment for my constituents, especially the youth so that they refrain from acts of promiscuity,” she said.
Added Kaliati: “Who knows, some of them could end up playing for local big teams or even abroad. Already, I hear four of them have joined Mulanje Police team, a development that is quite encouraging.”
This was not the first time for Kaliati to invite a Super League team. Recently, Be Forward Wanderers and Blue Eagles also played friendly matches against Merchant Kaliati.
“It is good when big teams come here because people have a chance to watch them play and interact with big-name players and talks are already underway to invite Nyasa Big Bullets and [PremierBet] Wizards. I am told Wizards’ home ground is Mulanje Park so they are also our own team and we will be supporting them.”
Chitipa general secretary Marshal Mwenechanya thanked the parliamentarian for her gesture, saying they have now established a relationship with Merchant Kaliati.
“It is something which rarely happens and we thank Honourable Kaliati for her gesture. Of course, we featured our predominantly reserve side, but what was important was the gesture shown by the MP and also the purpose behind the move,” he said. n