Mzimba Secondary School (Mziseco) Football team were 2-1 winners over Multi-career Secondary School to become new Northern Education Divisional champions of the Copa-Coca-Cola Trophy.
Carlsberg Malawi Limited bankrolls the competition to the tune of K40million.
Chisomo Deya and StuartChisidze netted for Mziseco while Samson ‘Rooney’ Chiona scored a consolation goal for a 7-man multi-career team in a competition which took place at Katoto Secondary School ground on Saturday in Mzuzu.
This is the first time for Mziseco to win the title as last year they finished second.
Baka Secondary School of Karonga won the title last year but failed to defend their mantle this year because the competition organizers disqualified them over reasons of fielding over- aged players at district level.
The same competition is played in the Central West Divisions, South West, Shire Highlands including other five divisions recognize players that are within the age bracket of 15 and below.
But some teams like Karonga featured players up to the age of 20 hence were dismissed, leaving the district unrepresented.
Just like Baka CDSS, Multi-career too had some players disqualified due to over age, rendering them to play in an out-numbered status.
But despite their numerical disadvantage, Multi-career team were no mere pushovers as they made life difficult for the champions who had to sweat for their top prize money of K150,000.
The game however, did not finish without drama as some unidentified soccer fans stole the match- ball at the time it was kicked out of play and when it landed in a bushy area some guys run away with it .
This happened when the game was barely 3 minutes to close.
It had to take another 10 minutes for officials to look for another match ball for the game to restart, a conduct that was heavily criticized by sponsors.
“It’s not that we won because we had a numerical advantage over our opponents but we have a disciplined, committed and hard- training team,” Mziseco coach Patrick Mwandosya told reporters.
His remarks came following accusations from Multi-career that some officials supporting Mzimba team connived with Mziseco to dismiss some of their players to have an easy win over them.
“We had young players as equal to Mziseco but we feel cheated here as they had to dismiss some of our players to have an easy win,” captain Chiona alleged,”
As champions, Mziseco, means will represent Northern Region at the national level to be played a few weeks to come.
To reach the finals,Mziseco stunned Rumphi 5-4 on post-matchpenalties after regulation time left the two sides leveled at 2-2.
Multi-career had an age of 2-1 over Chitipa.
As runners up, Multi-career carted home K120,000,third placed Rumphi received K100,000 while Euthini, NkhataBay ,Chitipa,Likoma Island and Karonga took home K80,000,K60,000,K50,000,K40,000 and K30,000 respectively for finishing 4th 5th, 6th, and 7th.
Speaking before the prize presentation ceremony, North Divisional chairperson Allan Nkhonjera warned teams against getting involved in age –cheating, saying they will be dismissed in the competition for ever.
Speaking on sponsors’ behalf, Nelson Zoto Banda deplored the conduct of hiding balls by some teams saying it puts the other side of the team at unfair competition.
He said Carlsberg Malawi introduced the competition to complement government role of supporting sports in the country for youth to effectively serve their country buthe observed that the idea of age-cheating and hiding balls was defeating the whole purpose of the sponsorship. He warned that must stop if the sponsorship was to continue.
On his part, the Malawi School Sports Association’s Vice General Secretary Victor Lungu thanked sponsors Carlsberg Malawi for their gesture while promising to fight the anomalies to be in line with them and guard sponsorship.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :