Matindi Academy Schools Women Football Tournament is back and bigger. Sponsorship has been doubled to K3 million (about $8 823) and stretched to the Central Region.
The inaugural tournament last year was participated by secondary schools and colleges in the South only, but this year, schools from the Central Region will also have own tournament.
The academy’s operations manager Madalitso Mpaso said during the relaunch ceremony on Friday that they would like to continue playing a role in supporting the game’s grassroots development.
“This is a very crucial part of development in women football and we have noted that there is still a gap that is why we committed ourselves to continue supporting this tournament,” he said.
He, however, said as sponsors, they were disappointed that most schools shunned the tournament last year for fear of promoting the academy’s name.
“Schools should not deny their deserving girls a right to play football because the competition is being sponsored by another school . At the end of the day, it is the child’s future and the country’s own good which matters,” he said.
National Women’s Football Committee (NWFC) chairperson Stiveria Chalira assured the sponsors that the situation will change this year as most schools have shown interest to join the league.
“Last year, we had 27 teams, but already 31 have registered in the South and more will register by the time we make the draw next week.
“In the Centre, 28 teams have already registered and we hope the number will increase as well by the time we close registration,” said Chalira.
She added that the committee has changed its strategy by putting more effort on developmental activities and that such a competition complements their effort.