Blantyre Sports Clubt o screen UEFA Champions League finals for charity: I n aid of Cyclone Idai victims

Blantyre Sports Club, in partnership with Blantyre Round Table No. 20, will public screen the UEFA champions League final on Saturday between five-time winners, Liverpool FC, first-time finalists Tottenham Hotspurs in an all-English final.

Liverpool’s Mo Salah

A statement from one of the organizers, Isaac Bukhu, those interested to join the party will be required to pay entry fee of K5,000 into the main hall and the aim of the event is to raise funds for those affected by cyclone IDAI in the Lower Shire.

The entry fee covers for a provision of a burger, discounted drinks, great food and some African music beats thereafter.

“On Saturday morning, the club’s tennis section will be hosting the MDINA youth tennis tournament, which has attracted players from across Malawi under the sponsoring Malawian Engineering Firm in RSA, Mdina Engineering.

“The event is open to both members and non-members as such you are most welcome to come watch with friends,” Bukhu said.

Meanwhile, MultiChoice Malawi says DStv will beam the match on SuperSport 3 (DStv Channel 203) while SuperSport 10 (DStv Channel 210), Select 2 (GOtv channel 32) will offer an exciting array of programming including half hour highlights of the four semi-final games; the official UEFA Champions League preview show at 19:00 CAT; the studio build up including crossings from Madrid at 19:30 CAT; and then the LIVE match from 21:00 CAT.

This will be one of the most watched matches in the African continent as six African ambassadors will be involved in the game if they are all cleared fit to play at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain.

Liverpool lost the final last season to Real Madrid whose Moroccan defender Achraf Hakimi became the 20th and last African to win the trophy.

Just like Chelsea FC’s team that won the trophy in 2012, Liverpool have four African players in their ranks — Guinean midfielder Naby Keita, who might become the first player from his country to win the trophy, just like Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah.

Joel Matip will be the third Cameroonian to do so after the illustrious Geremi Njitap who won the trophy twice (2000 and 2002) with Real Madrid and the great Samuel Eto’o with three trophies, two with FC Barcelona (2006 and 2008) and one with Inter Milan (2010).

For Tottenham, Ivorian defender Serge Aurier could join Didier Drogba Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou in the special club of Ivorian UEFA Champions League winners while for Victor Wanyama he will be the second Kenyan to achieve the feat with the only other Kenyan player to do so, being his brother McDonald Maringa.

The success story between African players and the UEFA champions League dates as far back as 1984, when the great Zimbabwean goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar became the first African to list the trophy when he helped Liverpool to beat AS Roma in the final.

Algerian legend Rabah Madjer scored a goal for the record books when he helped FC Porto defeat Bayern of Munich in the final in 1987.

Ghana’s all time greatest Abedi Ayew Pele was a key player for Marseille when they defeated AC Milan in the finals in 1993.

Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu and George Finidi were in the Ajax team that won 1-0 against AC Milan in the finals in 1995.

Former Ghanaian international Ibrahim Tanko was in the Borussia Dortmund team that beat Juventus to lift the trophy in 1997.

After painfully losing the final in 1999 to Manchester United, rock solid Ghanaian defender Samuel Osei Kuffour came back strong with Bayern Munich to the win the trophy in 2001 after defeating Valencia in the final.

South African striker Benni McCarthy was part of Jose Mourinho’s FC Porto that defeated Monaco in 2004 to lift the trophy.

Malian defender Djimi Traore was in the history making Liverpool team in Istanbul which came from three goals down in the first half to beat AC Milan in one of the most dramatic finals ever.

In 2006, the FC Barcelona team that beat Arsenal in the final that had three Africans — Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o, Côte d’Ivoire’s Yaya Toure and Mali’s Seydou Keita.

In 2010, Kenya’s McDonald Maringa, the senior brother of Victor Wanyama helped Inter to glory alongside Samuel Eto’o, Ghana’s Sulley Muntari against Bayern Munich.

Chelsea came with a contingent of four African greats to see off Bayern Munich in the final in Munich — Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel and Ghana’s Micheal Essien.

Out of the previous 20 African players to win the trophy, five are from Ghana, three from Nigeria, three from Côte D’Ivoire, two from Cameroon, two from Mali, one from Zimbabwe, one from Algeria, one from South Africa, one from Kenya and one from Morocco.

Whatever happens in the final in Madrid, African football history will be made as another African great will make history and add to the number of African players to have won world club football’s most prestigious trophy.

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