As the final whistle of glory blew in Meadowlands Zone 10, Soweto, this past Saturday 5 January, Diepkloof’s Mathayithayi FC has crowned the well-deserved champions of the 2018/2019 KwaMahlobo Games, proudly sponsored by LaLiga and diligently supported by the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the Gauteng Provincial Government.
The beaming team featuring the tournament best goalkeeper, Sibusiso Mavoja, walked away with a R120 000 cheque, a glistening trophy and the honour of having won the amateur tournament that attracts thousands of fans and showcases spectacular football prowess every year. Snake Park Chillers took second place with a final score of 1-0, receiving silver medals and R50 000 in prize money. The third and fourth placed teams each received R15 000 each.
And what a tournament it was – packed crowds included the likes of industry legend Baba Mthethwa and 2018 CAF Women Player of the Year Nominee, Thembi Kgatlana, and soccer stars from teams such as Soweto Super United and 2017/18 winners Izinja zeGame gave us a taste of their impeccable footwork over the last two and a half weeks of pure soccer entertainment.
Commenting after the final game, LaLiga South Africa’s Managing Director Antonio Barradas, made it known that the Spanish organisation was delighted to have been involved with such a successful township event.
“Congratulations to Mathayithayi FC on winning the tournament, they have worked tremendously hard to prove themselves as the champions of this season,” said Barradas. “The passion and enthusiasm from both the players and fans increase every year, and we are proud to be associated with a well-organised tournament that not only highlights the Soweto’s finest talent but also contributes drastically to community development and empowerment.”
Original founder of the KwaMaholobo Games twenty-three years ago, Patrick Ntenjwa, added his thoughts on the end of another season.
“It has been an incredible tournament with outstanding displays of football and teamwork from day one. All 40 teams played their hearts out,” said Ntenjwa.
“We are forever grateful for our strong partnership with both LaLiga and SAFA, and the Games wouldn’t have grown from strength to strength without their ongoing support.”
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan concluded, “It was a fantastic experience to witness the Sowetan community come together to cheer on their fellow citizens and revel in the sheer enjoyment of every game. The KwaMahlobo Games has a powerful, uplifting impact on the community and we look forward to seeing what next season will bring.”