Revered South African soccer legends Phil Masinga, Mark Fish and Desire Ellis will feature in a Special Olympics unified match at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe today.
Masinga and Banyana Banyana legend Ellis arrived in the country on Friday while Fish is expected to jet in this morning alongside DJ Cleo.
The trio alongside local legends that will include Ernest Mtawali, Lawrence Waya and Peter Mponda are expected to take the fans down memory lane when they used to thrill fans with their vintage displays for the cause of disabled children.
Masinga and Mtawali will captain two teams that will comprise other former internationals, government officials and children with intellectual disabilities.
The former South African legend Masinga will lead Red Rebels while Mtawali will captain Blue Bullets.
This will be the first time the two will play in two opposing teams in Malawi since June 1 1996 when Malawi lost 1-0 to South Africa in the 1998 World Cup qualifiers at Kamuzu Stadium.
Apart from Mtawali, Waya and Mponda, other Malawian players who are expected to play are James Sangala, Fischer Kondowe, McDonald Yobe, Hellings Mwakasungula Andrew Chikhosi, Muzipasi Mwangonde and women football international Towera Vinkhumbo.
“We came here in 1996 and won and the memories are still fresh. But this is a different game altogether. I am looking forward to playing against Mtawali. In South Africa we used to play together. I have scored many goals from his passes but now it’s time to face each other. In fact, I will be playing in midfield to challenge him.
“But I must say it was difficult to say no to the invitation. It is important to give back to community, especially the African community. This project is very important,” said Masinga.
Mtawali, who did not attend the press conference as he was in transit to Lilongwe from Blantyre for the match, said Masinga cannot match him in midfield.
“Let him do what he knows, scoring goals, but not challenging me in the midfield. But all the same it will be interesting playing against Masinga and Fish again in my backyard and in front of the head of State. It will be an exciting match and I am glad to be part of this initiative,” said Mtawali.
President Joyce Banda will be the guest of honour at the event.
The match is a curtain-raiser of the first ever African Leaders Forum on Disability to be held at Bingu International Conference Centre tomorrow.