Protect the Goal’s (PTG) high HIV cluster project will be launched tomorrow afternoon during the Presidential Cup preliminary stage Thyolo derby between rivals Thyolo Eagles and Thyolo United at the community centre ground.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is using the Presidential Cup as a platform for the implementation of the National Aids Commission (NAC) funded project.
Thyolo District Football Committee chairperson Tchavi Mbewe said the derby fixture, which was drawn randomly, will provide the best set for launching the project.
“These two teams normally meet in final matches of competitions in Thyolo, but now they are in the first round. This will be like a final on the launch date. Eagles have just won the Thyolo Districts League while United will be looking to prove a point in the Presidential Cup. But, over and above, we are ready to facilitate the implementation of the Protect the Goal project in Thyolo,” said Mbewe.
The project is using competitive football matches to send HIV prevention messages and will involve district Presidential Cup competitions in seven other districts in the Southern Region namely: Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Mangochi, Mulanje, Nsanje, Mwanza and Zomba.
Apart from football matches, different players in HIV and Aids intervention will be providing services to fans and players at all matches in the eight districts.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said he believes football has a big role to play in the fight against the pandemic.
“FAM is committed in fighting the HIV and Aids pandemic using all football platforms that we have. The Protect the Goal [High HIV Cluster] is aimed at rural football masses.
The project is funded by NAC to the tune of K19 million.