There were jubilations and ululations on Sunday at Molele ground in Thyolo district when Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza launched a K5 million football and netball League in his Thyolo South West Constituency.
Present during the launching ceremony were former Flames defenders Jack Chamangwana and James Sangala, former Malawi Queens star Mary Waya, Malawi National Council of Sports board chairperson James Chuma, FAM executive member Daud Ntanthiko and George Jana from Sports Council.
In his remarks, Chiyembekeza said 33 football teams and 23 netball teams from zones will take part during the tournament.
For instance, in football there are five zones namely, Zowa, Mbilole, Masambanjati, Molele while in netball there are three zones: Zowa, Masambanjati and Molele.
“The main purpose of this tournament is to keep the youth busy in my constituency and at the same time we want to form a strong side that infuture can compete in the Southern Region Football League,” he said.
He also said they want to unearth hidden talent from Thyolo with an aim of exporting some of the players to the Super League teams.
He also urged the youth themselves who will take part in the tournament to work hard so that they can be spotted by some of the bigger teams in Blantyre.
Chiyembekeza gave them an example of former Flames workhorse John Maduka, who originated from Thyolo before joining Silver Strikers. He then also played for Celtic in South Africa.
“We have so many examples of successful footballers from Thyolo district. For example do you know that John Maduka is from this district and that he started his career right here? If Maduka did it, then you can also follow into his footsteps,” said Chiyembekeza.
FAM executive member Daud Ntanthiko, who represented FAM President Walter Nyamilandu hailed Chiyembekeza for the tournament insisting for football to develop in this country it has to start from the grassroot level.
Ntanthiko also urged people who will manage the league to run it professionally.
“Honourble minister has pumped in a lot money, so to those running this tournament make sure that your accountable and be transparent. Sometimes it is we people who run leagues that make it fail,” said Ntanthiko.
Malawi National Council of Sports board chairperson James Chuma, who was the guest of honour pledged to donate two kits to two teams.
Chuma also commended Chiyembekeza for this trophy and asked the participating teams to observe discipline.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :