Malawi teams have played down their poor start in the ongoing Africa Cup for Club Champions at the National Hockey Stadium in Blantyre, saying their aim is to gain international experience.
Malawi’s representatives lost their four games to foreign clubs on the opening day of the continental event on Saturday.
Capital Braves Ladies went down 0-17 to Delta Queens of Nigeria, Scorpions Women lost 0-12 to Lakers from Kenya while Genetrix Women suffered a 1-13 defeat to Blazers of Kenya. Scorpions’ Men also lost 0-9 to Western Jaguars of Kenya.
However, Genetrix Men triumphed 8-1 over fellow Malawian side Parachute Battalion.
Reacting to the results, Scorpions coach Alex Mpasa said: “We are not worried much with the defeat because this is the first time we are playing in an international competition.
“This event has provided us a platform to gain international experience. However, we hope to produce improved results in upcoming fixtures.”
In an interview, Hockey Association of Malawi (HAM) president Wanthaza Mughogho described the results as normal.
“We have waited for this day [of hosting an international tournament] for too long and we are happy that the dream of hosting the Africa Cup for Club Champions has finally come true. The games played today are a testament to that,” he said.
“These results are normal in hockey and we look forward to the second day of the tournament.”
Meanwhile, one of the participating teams Police Machines of Nigeria has withdrawn from the tournament.
In a letter to Africa Hockey Federation and HAM, Nigeria Hockey Federation general secretary Chinedu Usuoha said: “We write to inform you that Police Machines are officially withdrawing from the championship.
“This is due to their recall to duty by the government following the nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress which has now resulted in their inability to obtain funds for the trip despite earlier assurances.”
At least 17 men’s and women’s teams from six countries are taking part in the tournament that runs up to November 26.
Malawi is being represented by Genetrix who are national champions and Scorpions in both men and women’s categories as well as Parachute Battallion men and Capital Braves Ladies.