Southampton and Chelsea came out victorious in a FutbolNet bonanza organised by Olympiafrica Centre of the Malawi Olympic Committee (Moc), which recently embarked on a comprehensive programme aimed at identifying Under 12 and Under 15 youngsters to represent Malawi at the forth-coming international FutbolNet tournament in Zambia.
Funded by Olympiafrica Foundation, the programme started last month with a training of over 30 teachers from Lilongwe Urban Schools at Kamuzu Institute of Sports.
After being equipped with the basics of FutbolNet, the trainees, who are known as Timers organised FutbolNet competitions in their respective schools, where talented youngsters were identified to fight for positions in the Zambian bound Under 12 and Under 15 teams.
The final selection took place last week at the Olympiafrica Centre, where the identified young boys and girls formed different teams and gave them names of their choice.
At the end of the tournament, a team named Southampton emerged winners of the Under 12 tournament after beating Silver Strikers by seven points against 5.
Chelsea emerged champions of the Under 15 tournament after surviving a tie against Tottenham Hotspurs, whom they played a 1-all draw.
After tabulating points, which are determined by both goals scored on the pitch and the values advanced by the sport- Commitment, Teamwork, Effort, Responsibility, Respect and Tolerance, the two teams tied at seven points.
After brain-storming the Timers declared Chelsea champions for fielding a female goalkeeper.
Speaking during the presentation of medals and trophies to the winning teams, Fam vice president James Mwenda, who was the guest of honour hailed the programme as beneficial to the young players.
“Looking at the values being promoted by the sport, this is a noble programme as it helps to mould the young boys and girls into responsible and respectful citizens. If we can invest more into this programme, we are going to have dedicated and disciplined sportsmen and women representing our nation at various sporting fields,” said Mwenda.
FutbolNet was developed a university under Spanish soccer giants Barcelona. Though it is played like football, the sport has an element of promoting good values amongst young boys and girls. A goal scored by a boy carries a single point but any goal scored by a girl carries double points.
Players from competing sides also celebrate together when a goal is scored by either side.
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