22 Battalion lifts Mudzi Area Zone Cup

HARARE - 22 INFANTRY Batallion emerged triumphant at the inaugural Mudzi Football Area Zone Tournament held at Kotwa High School in Mudzi at the weekend.

The two-day tournament which saw more than 10 teams from Mutoko District taking part was sponsored by the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Cuthbert Dube.

For their efforts the army side walked away with a floating trophy and $450 after beating rivals Kotwa Hospital 2-1 in the final.

22 Infantry Battalion stormed into the final having dismissed Boarder Strikers 1-0 in the first semifinal while Kotwa Hospital pipped Mandebvu with an identical scoreline in the other last four clash.

Losing finalists Kotwa Hospital received $280 for their efforts.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Wavern Gunda, who was standing in for Dube, said the Zifa president’s passion for football has made him contribute immensely to the development of the game in the country.

“It is grassroots soccer that we should be giving attention to because that is where players of the national team develop from and then become star players,” said Gunda.

“Football is not just national teams. It is the lower rungs where raw talent can be found and developed. It is an area that we should not neglect.

“The Zifa president wants to find ways on how football can progress in these areas. We are urging all the business community to host more of these tournaments.

“The Zifa president has assured that he is prepared to support the area zone of Kotwa in their efforts.”

Gunda said he was impressed by the talent exhibited during the tournament and was confident that if more resources are committed to the province, it would produce great players.

He added: “The kids were playing without boots but they played impressively. I am sure once they are supplied with all they need they will do miracles on the pitch.

Mudzi Football Area Zone chairman Robert Chimutanda expressed gratitude to the organisers as the tournament opened new doors for players while giving them something to look forward to in future.

“We would like to thank Zifa president for his goodwill as he has made efforts to improve football in the province. The tournament is important as it captures footballers and encourages them to continue playing soccer.”

Chimutanda said the Zifa president had assisted them in setting up an office in the province which has made football administration easier.

The two-day tournament was sponsored to the tune of US$2 600. All participating teams received two balls each and a pair of nets while there was also individual prizes for the players.

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