By Evance Chisiano, MANA
Zomba Chisi Parliamentarian, Mark Botomani, who is also Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology, on Saturday, launched a K4 million football league in his constituency where 30 teams will be competing.
The launch took place at Matiya Primary School Ground where Matiya Stars and Saiti Football Clubs played earlier before Saima and Nankhuni Football Clubs took the stage later as thousands of spectators cheered the teams.
Botomani said the league will give young men in Zomba Chisi Constituency a platform to display their football skills that should be tapped into other levels of football competition.
“The league will give the youth something to do as opposed to indulging in risky behaviours,” the parliamentarian said, adding that soon he will launch women netball league in a bid to promote sports in the rural areas.
He, therefore, assured young people in the area that he will sustain the league throughout his five-year term of office.
“This is in line with government obligation to develop the youth in all aspects ranging from education, economic empowerment to vocational skills development,” he said.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Francis Phiso commended Botomani for introducing the league saying it will promote football at grass root level.
The sports minister said the launch of Mark Botomani Football League was in line with Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s drive to develop sports among the youth at tender age of 15 and 17.
“This is one way of giving an opportunity to youth in the rural areas to be seen and play in big clubs,” Phiso said.
He further said government will continue constructing stadiums in all districts to promote football and other sporting disciplines.
Mangochi, Mulanje, Kasungu and Karonga are some of the districts with newly constructed stadiums and supper league teams have been playing in the districts because of the standard pitches.
Mark Botomani Football League committee chairperson George Mwamadi said the league will create competitiveness among the 35 teams in the league in the next six months.
Zomba Chisi Constituency extends to Chisi Island and hard to reach areas of Lungazi and Ngotangota along Malawi-Mozambique border.
Twelve teams from Chisi Island, Lungazi and Ngotangota are participating in the Mark Botomani League, according to Mwamadi who expressed hope that the competition will see players graduating to top division and supper league of Malawi.
At the launch of the league, Be Forward Wanderers players Denis Chembezi, Francis Nkonda and Misheck Botomani gave inspiring talks to players.
Among other things, they advised the youngsters to remain focused to fulfill their dream of playing in top league clubs in Malawi and beyond.