EIGHT teams will take part in the Savanna Tobacco- sponsored Pacific Shield at Manjolo, Binga, today.
This is part of the company’s social responsibility programme and they appreciate the power of football in the community.Silindile Nyathi, the company’s regional manager, said they were looking forward to making the tournament an annual competition.
“We are giving back to the community, it is part of our social responsibility programme and we realise the passion for the game that exists in the district. Binga is home to legends Peter, Madinda and the late Adam Ndlovu. There are so many youngsters who would want to emulate their heroes. This tournament we intend having it as an annual event,” said Nyathi.
He said eight teams will battle it out for the first prize which is an Adidas uniform. All the eight teams will get two soccer balls for use after the tournament in a move the sponsors hope will help develop the sport.
“There is so much talent in that part of the country and we hear one of our sporting greats as a nation, Rabson Murombe, also hails from the area. Of late there has been a number of boys making it to the Premiership from the district and we hope we could contribute to more stars being discovered and to that effect we have invited former Warriors assistant coach Mkhuphali Masuku to come and identify talent,” said Nyathi.
Murombe was part of the national team for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.
He became only the third black athlete after Mathias Kanda with whom he travelled with and Cyprian Tseriwa (1960) to compete at that level.
Nyathi said the teams were drawn from all over the district and that they were looking forward to some good displays by the Binga lads.
Masuku said such tournaments help in the identification of talent.
“There is so much talent that would not have been tapped at schools level that is still good enough to develop. If I see good players I will recommend to professional clubs,” said Masuku.
UK-based highly qualified coach Bongani Mafu could not make it because of commitments with his project, Lobengula Stars.