AIRTEL Malawi on Friday awarded achievers in the inaugural Airtel Top 8 Cup at a gala award ceremony held at Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe. The biggest winners on the day were Silver Strikers goalkeeper Brighton Munthali and Be Forward Wanderers striker Khumbo Ng’ambi.
Munthali got the Player of the Tournament award while Ng’ambi was the undisputed winner of the Top Goalscorer accolade.
Munthali, who conceded a single goal throughout the tournament that featured the best eight teams in last season’s TNM Super League, emerged winner with 19 votes, beating Ng’ambi (seven votes) and teammate Blessings Tembo who got three votes. Munthali and Ng’ambi got K500, 000 each for their outstanding performances.
The Central Bankers’ goalkeeper could not hide his excitement after his name was called out and he later expressed gratitude to Airtel Malawi for the award.
“I am really humbled and this is an encouragement to me. I will continue working hard to achieve more this season,” Munthali said.
In the media category, Times Group veteran photojournalist, Claude Simwaka, won the photo journalism category whereas Nation Publications Sports Editor, Garry Chirwa, was voted the best print journalist of the competition. In the electronic category Steve Liwewe Banda won the best radio commentator of the tournament whereas Lucy Kadzongwe of Rainbow Television won the best television reporter accolade.
Another veteran journalist, Leonard Sharra, who uses the pen name Alex Mezalumo for Nyasa Times, won the best electronic reporter award. Each awardee received K200,000 plus a miniature.
Airtel Malawi Marketing Director, Emmanuel Kasambala, described the tournament was a huge success, saying it broke barriers and set new standards in the sponsorship of football in the country.
“We had two specific goals in mind. The first one was to celebrate football excellence and change the dimension of local football. Secondly, we wanted to capture the hearts of the people by according them the chance to experience and witness football come alive,” Kasambala said.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) executive member, Jabbar Alide, who is also chairperson of the association’s competitions committee, applauded Airtel Malawi for changing the landscape of local football. “The tournament was a great success and we expect that next year it will be even more exciting,” Alide said.
Silver were crowned as inaugural champions after beating Wanderers 10-9 on post-match penalties at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe. A total of K112million was realized in gate revenue throughout the competition.
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