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Shanyai football tournament set to light up Victoria Falls

Shanyai football tournament set to light up Victoria Falls

By Goodwill Zunidza @ Chinotimba, Victoria Falls

A galaxy of football teams have converged on Chinotimba Stadium in the prime resort city of Victoria Falls for the inaugural Shanyai Football Tournament which is billed to be a major sports tourism extravaganza.

The tournament adds another spectacle on the Victoria Falls tourism calendar and is also geared to assist local teams featuring in the Zifa Matabelaland North Division 2A & 2B prepare for the
2023 season that rolls into action next weekend.

This event is jointly run by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) with several co-sponsors also coming on board.

Locking horns on the pitch will be four teams from Victoria Falls namely Sao Paulo, Shanyai FC, Monde United and Nakaluba while Baobab Rovers and Ingagula have travelled the short 100km
distance from Hwange.

With the fun-filled event designed to promote inclusive sports tourism in Zimbabwe’s youngest city two women’s sides Mosi Girls and Ubuntu Queens will compete for one of the three trophies on offer while two social teams, being LXG – a multi-racial outfit – and Santos kickstart the day-long festivities with a breakfast kick-off.

A spokesman for the organizers said besides the silverware all participating teams will retain the imported kit which they are using for the tournament.

He added that it was part of a sports tourism initiative spearheaded by Shanyai World who brought the select Team Zimbabwe UK for a series of friendly matches with local premiership clubs in 2018.

The venture had since been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has been resuscitated starting with the Victoria Falls extravaganza.

Among the other co-sponsors are Diaspora Insurance, WorldRemit, Zambuko, Bimma Entertainment, Zvandiri and Population Services Zimbabwe.

Acting Zifa chairman (Mat North), Clevious Ncube, said they were holding the tournament as their own version of the pre-season Charity Shield as they had picked the province’s best-performing teams last season.

Shanyai football tournament set to light up Victoria Falls