Small teams upstage dominants in Waiguru’s fooball tournament
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru’s football tournament got to the third round with teams earlier seen as underdogs staging surprise wins against dominant teams.
On Sunday, 80 matches were played across the 20 wards with each team seeking to be at the top at the ward level.
About 200 teams are participating in the round robin tournament whose winner will go home with Ksh 1 million cash reward.
Winners of the ward level matches are expected to proceed to the Sub-County level where 20 teams will battle it out to get to the County level.
Finals of the tournament dubbed “Governor Anne Waiguru- Minji Minji Football Cup” are expected to be played around 10th December.
Governor Waiguru said the tournament, under the theme “Nurturing Talent for Livelihood,” will see about 5,000 youth from about 200 football clubs compete from the ward up to the county level.
In Wamumu Ward, Nganga Rising Star Fc served Bright star Fc a gut-wrenching defeat after Misheck Mwendia scored the team’s sole winning goal.
Nganga Rising Star’s captain Erick Murimi was elated after their win saying that previously there has never been such a massive tournament, adding that Governor Waiguru had given many youths an opportunity to showcase their talents.
“This is the largest tournament we have had in Kirinyaga and it has given us a platform to showcase our talents,” he said.
Bright Star Fc’s Captain Elijah Thiong’o echoed his competitor’s remarks and said that the games have kept all teams on their toes with the players taking the tournament very seriously.
The local fans have been an essential part of the excitement. The tournament has attracted huge spectatorship with each team bringing in supporters to cheer its players.
In Tebere Ward, Gathigiriri Prison Fc and Kiarukungu Fc entertained spectators with a thrilling match, with Gathigiriri Prison Fc emerging victorious after scoring the game’s only goal.
Gathigiriri Prison Fc’s captain Shadrack Njuguna said his players were looking forward to winning the tournament.
“The top prize of Ksh 1 million is a huge motivation boost for all the teams and we all look forward to Sundays as we get to compete and test our power as players,” he said.
Kiarukungu Fc’s captain Kennedy Mwangi said that his team remains optimistic of proceeding to the next round despite losing to Gathigiriri Prison Fc, dubbing it a minor hitch on the road.
“This tournament has motivated us to grow our talents and abilities as football players and as a team we remain committed to getting to the finals despite our loss today,” he said.
Winning team will get a reward of Ksh.1 million while the second will receive Ksh.750,000. The third will walk home with Ksh.500,000 as the fourth bags Ksh.350,000. The fifth will get Ksh. 200,000 with top teams in ward level also receiving cash rewards.
The two months tournament is the largest football competition to have ever taken place in the county and is aimed at empowering youths to generate income from their talents.