Mixed Results at Airtel Rising Stars
By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi
There were mixed results for Malawi coming out at the ongoing Airtel Rising Stars Pan African Championship that kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya, this week.
On August 20, 2012 when the games began, Kenya Girls football team humiliated Malawi with an 11 -0 win, but Malawi Boys redeemed themselves by beating Kenya boys.
Malawi leads in the boys pools results by 4 points in pool A followed by Ghana 3 points, Madagascar 1 point and Kenya tailing last.
In Pool B DRC is leading with 3 points while Nigeria and Niger tie at 1 point, while in pool C there is a tie in the lead with Gabon and Zambia leading with 3 points while Burkina Faso and Tanzania tie at the last. Kenya 2 and Sierra Leone are leading in pool D.
These results were achieved in the second day of the competition where Kenya 2 boys Team played Sierra Leone boys’ team to draw at 1-1 as the first match of the day.
Today, the Ghana Girls team humbled the Kenyan Girls by 7 goals against Kenya’s 2 goals.
A statement from Airtel made available to the Malawi media says the Ghana girls displayed good skills and technique during the game.
It further says the Nigeria girl’s team, which was expected to perform very well, was beaten by Chad who scored one goal while Nigeria scored nothing.
Uganda girls also shone during the second day, by scoring 3 goals against Sierra Leone’s 0. The girls’ team that shone the brightest was DRC, which beat Burkina Faso by 8 goals.
In the Girls pools results by Malawi and Sierra Leone follow Pool A leaders Kenya and Uganda, which have 3 points apiece.
In Pool B, Chad lead at 3 points while Nigeria and Gabon tie in the same position. In Pool C, Ghana and DRC lead by 3 points while Burkina Faso and Kenya 2 tie at the end.
The statement from the mobile company says Airtel Rising Stars Pan African Championship promises lots of excitement tomorrow as the games progress towards the Semi Finals on Friday this week at St. Mary’s School Nairobi, Kenya.
The under-17 tourney will see winners receiving a wild card invitation to the Arsenal, Manchester United soccer clinics.
At the time of unveiling the Pan African soccer tourney the company said it expected the competition to provide an opportunity for budding stars to showcase and gauge their raw talent with the best in the continent.
The Championship is part of the Airtel Rising Stars programme, a soccer talent initiative that has focused on identifying and nurturing soccer talent from the grassroots onto a national stage.
The Championships, which commenced on 20th winds up on 25th of August, and it comprise preliminary qualifying round, a knockout round and a final.
The football extravaganza has attracted teams from some of Africa powerhouses in the under 17 age group such as Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and DRC, pitted against upcoming nations such as Gabon, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Burkina Faso, amongst others.
Airtel Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer said during the inaugural Africa Championships, that the Championship is a natural product of the exciting and dazzling skills which the telecommunication company has seen showcased in the on-going Airtel Rising Stars initiative.
“The tournament provides the perfect melting pot of talent, cultures and passion exhibited during the Airtel Rising across Africa,” he said.
He said by designing a bigger stage for the teams and future stars, Airtel is sending a message to the participants, coaches, soccer enthusiasts on its long term support for sports and activities that empower and celebrate talent.
As Airtel part of its partnership with DSTV’s sports channel, Super Sports, the Boys and Girls final matches will be broadcasted live on 25th August starting at 0800hrs to 1200hrs CAT although other games are already showing on the channel.
Airtel says the final matches will herald the kick-off of two specialised Airtel Rising Soccer Clinics, which will be run by soccer coaches from the Manchester United and Arsenal Soccer Schools.
“The clinics will be held in Nairobi and Accra respectively. The Soccer clinics will provide technical expertise to aspiring stars chosen by top coaches in the 15 African countries. To spice up the clinics, Airtel has announced that the teams that scoop the girls and boys trophies will also attend the soccer clinics,” says Airtel in the initial announcement of the tournament.