- Football: MPs 4 Airtel 3
- Netball : MPs 17 Airtel 2
Parliamentarian football and netball teams tampered with Airtel network, when they defeated Airtel football and netball teams in social friendly games played at Silver Stadium on Friday, July 8, 2016.
Trouble started for the mobile network specialists on the Silver netball court, where the MPs netball side led by Sports and Culture Minister Grace ‘Obama’ Chiumia loaded it over a youthful Airtel side, which only managed two baskets against 17 for the female Backbenchers.
The absence of Centre Patricia ‘Akweni’ Kaliati, Goal Defender Jessie Kabwira Kapasula, Wing Defender Esther Mcheka Chilenje, Goal Shooter Juliana Lunguzi and Goalkeeper Jean Kalilani was not even felt for the legislators as Shadow MP Kester Chima netted basket after basket with Chiumia dominating the centre.
Airtel captain Chifundo Kumpukwe admitted her side was simply not up to the occasion: “We accept the defeat. We have paid for the price of poor preparations but next time we will prepare for them and take revenge,” said Kumpukwe, who netted one of the baskets for Airtel.
Chiumia attributed the victory to team spirit and hard work amongst the Parliamentarians: “We trained for three days and there was good coordination amongst us. We are the Queens number two and all our opponents better watch out,” said Chiumia.
Onto the soccer pitch, Airtel men looked set to avenge their women’s defeat as they led the MPs 3-1 at half-time courtesy of goals from former Blue Eagles striker Feston Chakani, Nyengo Thaulo and Dr Mathews Mtumbuka. Honourable Comodious Nyirenda scored the lone first half strike for the legislators.
Came second half, the Parliamentarians piled huge pressure on the opponents, forcing one of Airtel defenders Menard Phiri to stab the ball into his own net.
Honourable Sam Kawale levelled for the MPs midway into the second half with a 35-metre cracking shot before Shadow MP Chikondi Chisale sealed victory for the legislators in the dying minutes.
Shortly after the goal, the MPs started calling for an adjournment of the game to attend to the morning business of Parliament and Fifa female referee Charity Ndozi obliged by blowing the final whistle.
Former University Football Club (UFC) winger Charles Kamoto, who captained the Airtel side was lost for words after the whistle only congratulating the MPs.
Speaking in his capacity as Airtel Managing Director, Kamoto said they organised the friendly match to interact with the MPs and listen to their constituents’ needs as regards to the services offered by Airtel.
Team manager for the MPs’ side Allan Ngumuya, who did not feature due to injury said his side struggled in the first half due to the absence of several key players but improved in the second half after making some tactical changes.
Amongst the players that were missing on the MPs line up were right back Richard Msowoya, attacking midfielder Dr Lazarus Chakwera, winger George Chaponda, nimble footed Atupele Muluzi and left back Uladi ‘Change Golo’ Mussa.
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