Malawi football comes alive with Airtel Top 8 from Rising Star

It’s been “very brief, intense and quite exciting,” a plausible verdict by soccer analyst Charles Miranda on   a thrilling three-week action parked football with all the ingredients that of the best entertainment worldwide, thanks to Airtel Malawi for the inaugural finals of Airtel Top 8 competition.

Silver captain celebrate with the trophy. Photograph by Jeromy Kadewere, Nyasa Times

The atmosphere at Bingu National Stadium as football comes alive with Airtel.-Photo Jeromy Kadewere, Nyasa Times

The mobile network provider pumped in close to K200 million for a period of  three years for top teams to battle it out for a whooping K15 million for  each edition for  the winning team.

What made it more interesting in the three -week period is the fact that all the attention was on who will grab the top prize with the odds favouring Mighty Be Forward Wanderers due to the fact that the Lali Lubani boys had a history of being first to win a competition once introduced.

However, as the saying goes, every product has its expiry date, and as , Silver coach Lovemore Fazili said “records are there to be broken” no wonder, at the end of it all, the capital City giants Silver Strikers walked tall smiling all the way to the bank having ended Wanderers’ record at Bingu National Stadium in the finals.

This, according to many soccer loving Malawians, is a positive development to our football as it brought back competition amongst the teams while entertaining those who love the game.

“I have nothing to say but praise Airtel Malawi for giving us what we deserve. They have really made us to feel proud of teams. You could see how competitive the games were just based on statistics. I hope other companies will emulate this,” said one fan Martin Kwenda.

Former Malawi international Peterkins Kaira described Airtel as the best brand to take Malawian football to another level.

“Be mindful that the company has been in the game already for several years sponsoring the Airtel rising star. What else can we look for from such a supportive company. The power, the energy, the beauty and the entertainment are some of the ingredients that made the Airtel Top 8 shine,” said Kaira.

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) through its Competitions desk has described the competition as a success.

Speaking to Nyasa Times, FAM Competitions Manager Gomezgani Zakazaka  said the competition has sparked more life into the ongoing super league as every team want to be part of the top 8 next season.

The 2017 Airtel Top 8 which was won by Silver Strikers had all the so called big guns in Malawian football including Nyasa Big Bullets, Azam Tigers, Kamuzu Barracks and Blue Eagles.

The Lali Lubani Road outfit still had a consolation as their striker Khumbo Ng’ambi won the Golden Boot award as he  scored the only hat-trick of the tournament against Moyale and  went with K500 000.

 

 

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