The rejuvenated Blantyre Mayor’s Trophy has rolled into action despite the organising committee having a K5 million shortfall in their K10 million budget.
At least 32 of the 178 football and netball games have been played in the preliminaries, which is contested by under-14 primary school learners from Ndirande, Chilomoni, South Lunzu, Zingwangwa, Bangwe and Limbe education zones.
During a press briefing at Civic Centre yesterday, Blantyre City Deputy Mayor Wild Ndipo said they felt it wise to let the games begin as they wait for other prospective partners to fulfil their pledges.
“With at least K5 million in our coffers, we have enough muscle to start the contest. It is our hope that all those that promised to support us during the re-launch of the trophy in September will not let us down,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chibuku Products Limited (CPL) through its non-alcoholic brand Super Maheu, Rab Processors Limited and Prisma Marketing are some of the companies that have made financial contributions to the primary school competition. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa also injected K1 million into the event.
According to the competition’s organising committee chairperson Mike Mambo, the official launch of the tournament is at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) tomorrow. Chichiri and Kanjedza primary schools will battle it out in both football and netball games
Nevertheless, Malawi Schools Sports Association (Massa) chairperson for Blantyre Urban Egnazio Libwaloh told The Nation yesterday that the competition has already seen Mbayani Primary School football team disqualified for age-cheating.
“Of course, Mbayani won 1-0 against Ndirande Matope during a preliminary match at St. Andrew’s International High School ground last Friday but they could not proceed to the next round because they featured over-aged players,” Libwaloh said.
Each education zone champion will progress to the quarter-finals to be played from November 18 to December 2. Semi-finals are expected between December 9 and 10 while the finals will be played on December 17. n