By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Nkhata Bay based Beach Soccer outfit Beach Eagles have been crowned the 2023 maiden MK20 million HTD Beach Soccer National championship champions after defeating Nyasa from Mangochi 10-3.
The championship started on Saturday, June 3 ended Sunday, June 4 at Sunbird Hotels, Livingtonia Beach in the lake shore district of Salima.
Six teams including Nyasa, Chipala FC, Deep Bay,Beach Eagles FC, Nkopola and Munali FC participated in the maiden championship and were grouped into two.
Being the champions Beach Eagles FC have walked home with MK3 million,Nyasa from Mangochi recipient MK1 million for finishing as runners up.
In the third play off qualification Nkopola defeated Deep Bay 12-1 and received money amounting to MK500,000 .
In the semifinals Beach Eagles FC were 8-5 victors over Deep Bay while Nyasa defeated Nkopola 8-7.
Frank Mwenelupembe of Deep Bay was voted player of the tournament while Aubrey Nkhumbula of Beach Eagles FC won the golden boot accolade with 13 goals and both received MK100,000.
The Board Chairperson of Malawi National Sports Council, Sunduzwayo Madise, said the sport is developing on a rapid way.
“The level of the competition has been very high with the third place play offs very exciting very intense and then the final.What is also interesting to me is that the game is progressing well.In the past we had two teams dominating Nkopola and Nyasa FC but now we have Beach Eagles from Nkhata Bay doing well and other teams from Karonga getting into the semifinals.
“We have seen some quite good players that are coming up and I think this is good for our national team.We would engage FAM and ask them how they intend to put structures of the sport from the grassroots”, Madise said.
Jawad Imed Finance and Administration Manager at HTD limited, the sponsor of the Beach Soccer national championship said they were excited as a company with the way the tournament progressed and ended.
“The expectations have surpassed whatever the results we have seen today. We have seen the new talent being exposed here and in the regard we believe that our passion was to boost the teams, possibly players welfare and to contribute to the national team so that they perform better in the near tournaments”, said Imed.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) vice President Justice Jabber Alide showed some satisfaction with how the maiden national beach Soccer championship went on.
“We are really very happy as we have witnessed different beach soccer for first time in the country. Looking at where we are coming from and number of years which the sport was introduced.
“We have made tremendous progress towards achieving the goal. Games we have watched from Saturday and today have proved that we are on a right direction”, said Alide.
Apart from the MK20 million Sponsorship, HTD limited also kits out the six teams with jerseys.