First Capital Bank (FCB) Under-20 Football League national champions Griffin Young Stars and their runners-up Sanwecka have failed to defend their district titles in Blantyre and Mzuzu, respectively.
The development means the two outfits, which battled for ultimate glory last year, will not make the grade for the national finals as they have even failed to qualify for the regional play-offs of the annual competition.
Ndirande Icons have been declared Blantyre champions with a game to spare having amassing 67 points, four more than runners-up Young Stars.
Young Stars’ historic exit from the competition at district level came last weekend after suffering a 5-0 beating at the hands of eighth-placed Be Forward Wanderers Youths, whose player Aubrey Maloya leads the scorers’ chart with 27 goals, 14 goals ahead of second placed Kelvin Mandebvu of Kangaroo Academy.
“Competition has been very tough in our fold and it was difficult to predict the eventual champion until the last three games,” Blantyre District Youth Football Committee (BDYFC) vice-chairperson Bitto Kayesera said.
Mzuzu City Youth Football Committee (MCYFC) general secretary Levie Mhone said in Mzuzu, the defending champions Sanwecka are nowhere near the crown because.
With three games to play, they are fourth on the 16-team ladder with 58 points.
“The battle is between Topik Stars and Azungu Academy, who have 73 points and 70 points in that order,” he said.
On Wednesday, Topik beat Young Buffalo 1-0 while Azungu triumphed 2-0 over Chimwemwe Driving FC. n