ACCC 34M-25W – Poor start for Malawi teams at Africa tourney

Malawi teams endured a bad start to the Africa Cup for Club Champions (ACCC) at the National Hockey Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday.

On the opening day, four local sides lost to foreign sides, with Genetrix Men beating fellow Malawian side Parachute Battalion 8-1. However, the four local teams that lost on the opening day are convinced that they will get valuable international exposure as the country is hosting the showpiece for the first time.

On the opening day, Kenya’s Western Jaguars beat Malawi’s Scorpions Men 9-0. In the ladies’ division, Delta Queens of Nigeria beat Malawi’s Capital Braves Ladies 17-0 whereas Genetrix Women lost 13-1 to Blazers of Kenya. In another match, Scorpions Women lost 0-12 to Kenya’s Lakers.

Speaking on behalf of the local sides, Scorpions Coach Alex Mpasa said they would learn from their international counterparts.

“Such things happen. We are not very worried with the defeats because this is the first time we are playing in an international competition. This event has given us a platform on which to gain international experience.  “Nevertheless, we can pull surprises or better results in our next fixtures,” Mpasa said.

Hockey Association of Malawi (Ham) President Wanthaza Mughogho said the competition has attracted top sides from the continent. “The results are normal in hockey and we look forward to upcoming games,” Mughogho said.

He said it is a dream come true for Malawi to host the tournament. “The day is finally here. We have waited for this day [of hosting an international tournament] for too long,” Mughogho said

Meanwhile, 17 men’s and women’s teams from six countries are taking part in the tournament, which winds up on November 26. This follows the withdrawal of Police Machines of Nigeria.

In a letter to Africa Hockey Federation (AfHF) and Ham, Nigeria Hockey Federation General Secretary Chinedu Usuoha said that they have withdrawn after being recalled to duty.

“We write to inform you that Police Machines are officially withdrawing from the championship in Malawi. This is due to their recall to duty by the government following the nationwide strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, which has now resulted in their inability to obtain funds for the trip despite earlier assurances,” Usuoha indicates in the letter.

Sources: | November 20, 2023