LAUNCH of the women’s FAZ league in Southern Province has cheered he country’s football governing body.
Speaking during the launch of the league and commemorations of the United Nations International Day of Tolerance 2019 hosted by the Livingstone Youth Football Academy (LYFA), FAZ Southern Province coordinator Francis Hafwiti said the passion in the players impressed him.
“For the league to be a success, we need all stakeholders, which include media and fans to show their support and assist in taking the league forward,” Hafwiti said.
“The support, the commitment and the enthusiasm were the key components for me – everyone involved was so positive that no matter what went wrong, such as players not having shoes, or the nets for the goals not turning up, or players not wearing the same kit – in the end the girls got to play football, compete against their friends and play in front of a lot of people.”
He noted the challenges involved in the organisation of female football.
“It was a far more stressful experience than what I had expected, but also far more enjoyable both for me and I hope for everyone involved. I have learnt a lot about the requirements of organising events but I definitely feel better prepared and understand far better what to expect for my future projects over the next 5 months,” he said.
LYFA projects coordinator Lwanga Bwalya said the start of the women’s league would help create inclusiveness.
“We are excited for the women’s league to start as it will create a platform for talent exposure for female football players here in Southern Province. We believe whatever men can do, women can do even better, that’s why as LYFA, we are happy to be part of an ecosystem that promotes female participation in football and giving them a chance to play professionally. And we are sure the start of this league is just the beginning of creating a more inclusive, gender equal world,” said Bwalya.
During the games of the event, LYFA Academy won 2-1 the first game against Rockets United and went on to beat Dambwa United 2-0.
The losing spirit followed Dambwa United into the next game when it succumbed 1- 0 to Rockets Unitd while Choma Warriors Drew 1-1 against Libuyu United in the fourth game of the day.
In the fifth game of the launch, Choma Warriors defeated Simonga United by 2 goals to nil and the last game in the group stages Libuyu Utd beat Simonga Utd an astounding 4-0.
Libuyu United, Choma Warriors, Rockets United and LYFA Academy proceeded to the semi-finals.
The first game pitted LYFA Academy against Choma Warriors who failed to size each other in regulation time and during penalties, LYFA Academy won 5-4 to the amazement of the crowd.
Libuyu Utd also made it to the final after beating Rockets United 2-0.
The girls who by now were tired from both Libuyu United and LYFA Academy played the final but it was LYFA who emerged victorious after netting the only goal of the game in the dying minutes of the encounter.