Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru’s football tournament entered the sub-county stage, with 40 teams fighting for the Sh1 million cash reward for the winner.
Matches involving 20 men and 20 women teams were played despite the heavy rains that delayed the start and finish of some of the games.
In Mwea East Sub-County, Intercity FC of Tebere Ward clashed Kutus FC of Nyangati Ward FC 3-1 in an entertaining match played at Kimbimbi Primary School ground before proceeding to beat Gathigiriri FC 1-0 at the same venue.
For the women's matches, Tebere beat Gathigiriri 2-0 while Nyangati thrashed Murinduko FC 4-0 to win the game.
In Mwea West Sub-County, eight matches were played with Captain FC beating Ndume FC 2-0.
Young Star FC defeated Ngang’a FC 2-0 to win their matches.
In the women's matches, Naivas Starlets and Mokou Starlets had a field day with Naivas scoring six goals against Marura Queens FC’s 0, Mukou hammered Soccer sisters 7-0.
Kirinyaga East sub-county, Mukuba FC beat Kianyaga Rising FC 3-1 in the men's category while Njuki-ini ladies were beaten 3-0 by Kiamwathi Ladies. In Kirinyaga West, Thumaita FC ran over Baricho FC after beating the men’s team 3-2 with Wanda Queens scoring five goals against Kiburu Ladies.
Inoi United FC and Kiamaina FC drew 3-3 in their encounter in the men's category while in the women's matches, Scorpion FC beat Gathuthuma FC 5-0 to win the match in Kirinyaga Central Sub-County.
Finals of the tournament dubbed “Governor Anne Waiguru- Minji Minji Football Cup” are expected to be played around 10th December.
Governor Waiguru said the tournament, under the theme “Nurturing Talent for Livelihood,” will see about 5,000 youth from about 200 football clubs compete from the ward up to the county level.
Intercity FC’s captain Anthony Mathenge was elated after his team won two matches. He said that the tournament has been a great boost to player’s morale with each eyeing the top prize.
“Despite the heavy rains, we as a team have remained committed and are now seeing the fruits of our labor. We defeated Nyagati ward FC first and now we have defeated Gathigiriri ward. We are now inching closer and closer to the Sh1 million prize money,” he said.
Gathigiriri FC’s captain, Paul Ndichu echoed his competitor’s sentiments, adding that despite their loss, the team would regroup, and train harder for the upcoming matches.
“As a team, we feel that we played to the best of our ability and we look forward to next weekend. Next, we will face Kutus Fc and hopefully, we will emerge victorious,” he said.
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One notable aspect of the tournament is the inclusion of women's teams, a big stride toward gender inclusivity in sports.
Fatuma Kimani, Gathigiriri FC’s captain, expressed excitement over the commencement of the women’s matches.
“As women, we are very happy to be included in this mega tournament and to get an opportunity to showcase and nurture our talents,” she said.