Coca-cola Malawi has increased sponsorship of Copa Coca-Cola Malawi Schools Sports Association (Massa) football competition from K36 million to K40 million.
Speaking during the launch of the 2016 competition at Ekwendeni Community Ground in Mzuzu on Saturday, Coca-cola senior brands manager, Titha Mbilizi, said the decision to raise the sponsorship was made after noting an increase in the number of teams participating in the competition this year.
According to Mbilizi, last year the competition registered 1,450 school football teams, and that 100 more teams have registered this year.
“We want to nurture football talent from the grassroots and we are glad that since the competitions started about 48 years ago, we have managed to produce some good players like Kinnah Phiri, Wizards players and others,” Mbilizi said.
She said Coca-Cola intends to improve the standards of playing fields in Southern Africa, where a country will be selected randomly to benefit from the project, which includes the construction of state of-the-art playing fields.
“We have worked hand-in-hand with Massa to make sure no age- cheating is registered in the competition, so that only players aged 15 and below should participate. This was done through a thorough screening exercise that was done by the association. As Coca-Cola, we are also glad to note that this year most private schools have registered to participate, including Kamuzu Academy and Saint Andrews,” she added.
Minister of Sports and Culture, Grace Chiumia, who was guest of honour, commended Coca-Cola for supporting her ministry’s objective of identifying talent in rural areas.
“As government, we cannot manage supporting all sports activities in the country. Therefore, we ask Malawians to continue using Coca-Cola products so that they can make more profits and continue supporting grass roots football in the country,” she said Despite the rains which rendered the ground slippery, Ekwendeni Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) beat Enukweni CDSS 3-0 during the main game, while during a curtain-raiser, Enyezini CDSS outclassed Faithland Private School with a 1-0 beating.
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