By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Central Region football Association MK15.3 million Standard Bank UNAYO division one league competition becomes stiffer as teams are finding it difficult to collect maximum points over others.
As the first round of CRFA division one UNAYO league takes center stage,the competition has become stiffer as teams battle for the honours,
This has however made teams in the three groups to be exchanging positions .
Hope Academy and Make Sure, who once topped group A, have been dislodged by Kasiya Hungry Tigers who have 19 points from 9 games while Make Sure Pirates are tied on 16 points from 7 and 8 games respectively.
Lizulu Super Stars are leading group C with better goal difference as they are tied at 15 points with Mapokezi FC,area 22 based side Kamba FC lie on 3rd with 14 points from 8 games.
Blue Eagles RSV who stayed on top of the group for some weeks seem to be losing their hype as they now dwell on position 6 with 11 points from 8 games and are tied with Balang’ombe Real Bombers who have played 9 games so far.
However, Santhe ADMARC are the only team who have maintained the top slot in the Central Region Standard Bank UNAYO division one first round despite being temporarily displaced fortnight ago.
Santhe have 19 points from 9 games having won 6,drew 1 and lost 1,second in group B are Nsaru United FC who have played 8, winning 5,sharing spoils 2 and lost 2.Mahempe and Amboya FC are occupying 3 and 4 positions with 14 points each after playing 8 and 9 games respectively.
CRFA General Secretary, Bernard Chiwiriwiri Harawa, attributed the stiff competition to Sponsorship which Standard Bank through their Platform UNAYO has brought to the region.
“First of all let me applaud Standard Bank for coming up with the Sponsorship, the tournament is superb we welcomed it and we are still cherishing it at the class of football being displayed in the division one right now is of high standard than that we used to see in previous years”,
“The Sponsorship has tremendously helped in the development of the sport in the region, with K15 million we were able to manage two leagues,Premier Division and Division one which means the prize money were peanuts hence teams were not working hard.
“With the high stake now teams are playing lungs out as they are motivated. This has also motivated us the administrators and we are very thankful to Standard Bank”,Harawa narrated.
After playing 14 games in round one in all the three groups, top four teams will qualify to the second round where they will be grouped into two groups.
Each group will have 6 teams and they will play on round robin, top three teams from the groups will battle it out for championship and slot for Chipiku Premier division league while the other bottom four teams from initial groups will be playing to see who get relegated from the league.
Standard Bank and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) signed a one year contract worth K46 million for regional division one leagues.
The leagues are expected to be played for 8 months and over 600 games are anticipated to be patronized across the whole 29 districts.
Here are some of the fixtures for 14, Saturday 6th August day 13,Make Sure Pirates are up against Dickson FC at Mvunguti ground, Hope Academy FC will play Obings Pirates FC at Nyasa ground, Dzebza FC will lock horns with Mtengenji Monaco FC at Dzenza ground, Santhe ADMARC host Zaithwa FC at Santhe ADMARC ground while Blue Eagles RSV entertain Shammah FC at the Nankhaka Stadium.
On Sunday, August 7, day 14 Mahempe FC host Simlemba United at Kachebere ground, Amboya FC invites Nsaru United FC at Chimweta ground and Balang’ombe Real Bombers plays Young Professionals at Mwakha ground.