First Capital Bank (FCB) Under-20 Football League regional play-offs start tomorrow after the completion of the competition at district level.
Mangochi Stadium host Southern Region’s games where Blantyre champions Maggie Chombo Academy face Mpondasi United while Mulanje’s Nkando Warriors play Zomba’s Prison Reserve.
The Central Region will hold their play-offs at the Kasungu Stadium where the hosts KK Spurs take on Dedza’s Chipatala FC, Lilongwe’s Civo United Youth face Mchinji’s Ma Villa Youth, Salima’s Likumbo FC meet Nkhotakota’s Matiki FC.
In the Northern Region, Karonga Stadium hosts Iponga FC, Nkhata Bay’s White Tigers and Mzuzu’s Bicco Opticals (formerly Sanwecka), who are the current national champions.
Rumphi district champions Mighty Wanderers Reserve have been exempted from the play-offs as they have automatically qualified for the national finals for being the hosts.
“It is a blessing to reach the regional play-offs stage considering the tough battles we overcame at district level. We are very well prepared for the regional games and we are confident that we will make it into the national finals to defend the title,” said Bicco coach Arnold Ntonga.
Spurs coach Hellings Malunje and his Mpondasi counterpart Mussa Katawala said they are also geared to make it into the national finals.
National Youth Football Association chairperson Tiyenkhu Chavula said they are happy to have reached this far without significant challenges and they commend all committees “for working tirelessly with much coordination in organizing the league at district level”.
FCB corporate communication manager Titha Mbilizi said they are happy that this year’s tournament has, up to this point, been a success.
“We are impressed with the management of our partners and skills of the players on the field. With the regional finals set for this weekend, we wish all the teams the best of luck,” she said.
Mbilizi said the national finals will take place on December 11 at Rumphi Stadium, a week earlier than initially arranged because Airtel Top 8 final is expected to be played on the same day.