Former Malawi Football National Team Coach, Kinnah Phiri, has appealed to the corporate world to invest more in youth football, saying youth development is vital to the success and future of the national football team.
Phiri said this Saturday in Mzuzu during the finals of Uncle Jose Football Trophy worth MK1.5 million held at Chibavi Primary School ground within the city.
The football tactician observed that Malawi is blessed with a lot of talented youths who can bring success to the national team in future, given the right training and support.
“There is money in the corporate world and there is need for them to channel some of their finances into youth football development, we should not always rely on our MPs to sponsor cups,” he said.
Phiri urged football partners in the corporate world to take a leading role in sponsoring competitions for the youth and that such tournaments should be taking place at least every three months to keep the youths busy.
Concurring with the former flames coach, the District Sports Officer (Mzimba North), Olga Mshali, said such football cups could help to keep the youths busy and lessen their involvement in risky behaviours such as drinking and smoking.
“There are a lot of bad behaviours that occur, like drug abuse, when the youths are left doing nothing. Football trophies are good and we need to thank Uncle Jose for this though we need more sponsorship from other stakeholders,” she said.
After the final whistle, Lunyangwa Youth emerged champions after thumping Katoto United 4-1. The winners (Lunyangwa Youth) pocketed K300, 000 while the runners-up (Katoto United) took home K200, 000.
The losing semi-finalists and quarter-finalists also benefited from the trophy funds. Altogether, 41 football teams entered the competition (Uncle Jose Football Trophy) which was sponsored by a Member of Parliament for Mzuzu City, Leonard Njikho.–Mana