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Mai Hondo Memorial Soccer tourney on tomorrow

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Mai Hondo Memorial Soccer tourney on tomorrow


Fungayi Munyoro-Chingaira

MUTARE-The Mai Hondo Memorial U15 Youth Soccer Tournament is back bigger and better after a two year COVID-19 induced hiatus with new competitors from Binga, Chipinge, Buhera, Mutasa, Harare Masvingo and Rusape.

The tournament which traditionally saw only Mutare based competitors’ kicks off tomorrow with 20 boy teams and eight girl teams. Preliminary matches will be played at Sports Oval, Zamba, Chisamba and Sakubva primary schools. The main event is set for Saturday at Sakubva Stadium.

Former Tanganda FC player Blessing ‘Jah B’ Mutsaka who is one of the tourney organisers told Mirror Sport that all is set for the soccer extravaganza.

“We are back after two years of a COVID-19 induced break. We are happy because we have spread our wings to include teams from Harare, Binga, Masvingo, Chipinge and Rusape. We are expecting 20 boys’ teams and eight girls’ teams to participate in this year’s edition.

The teams that make it to the quarter finals will receive soccer kits with the winners and runners-up receiving additional sets, plus trophies and medals. We will also have the traditional individual awards for all categories,” said Mutsaka.

The tournament was introduced in 2014 with the thrust of raising awareness of HIV/AIDS, sexual reproductive health, career guidance and civic education among youth through sports. It also gives girls and boys an opportunity to compete and improve their soccer skills.

La Sakubva FC and Faith Drive are the defending champions in the boys’ and girls’ categories.

The tournament has gained official recognition from football’s mother body Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).

La Sakubva FC coach Timothy ‘Sicho’ Masachi said they are happy to participate in the tournament after a two year break. He also added that it’s a good platform for the youngsters to showcase their skills

“It’s a relief for us the clubs and the youngsters to have the tournament back. There are some youngsters who missed this tournament because of COVID-19 and it’s unfortunate some are now ineligible to participate because of age,” he said.

The former Buffaloes FC mentor said his charges are ready to retain the championship. He also urged participating teams to shun age cheating.

“As La Sakubva we are going to defend this cup jealously and it will be fantastic to retain the cup again. I applaud the tourney sponsors for bringing the competition back this year. I hope teams will bring eligible players because a lot of teams want to cheat just to win which is not the main purpose of junior football. Development is the main purpose of junior football. Let eligible players participate in this tourney, it’s their time to shine,” said Sicho.

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