Israel Scud had a bright start as the 10th edition of the annual Chris Oguso Betika football tournament kicked off at the Chevavo High School in Vihiga on Saturday.
The Bunyore-based team beat Indomitables of Mahanga 2-0 in a thrilling opener, to progress to the next level of the competition that will see the eventual winner pocket Sh200, 000 during the December 20, slated final.
Charles Chuma, who could have easily notched a hat trick had he not wasted a glut of chances, broke the deadlock in the 39th minute after a defensive mistake by Indomitable last man.
Sadique Ayew added the second in the 60th minute as the Bunyore side ensured that they are not knocked out of the competition on the first day like it happened last year.
“I am happy that we have had a positive start this year, compared to last year when we were knocked out on the first day. This time we are optimistic of going the whole hog and winning the Sh200, 000 prize money,” said Scud’s forward Chuma.
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This year’s competition has attracted a total of 48 teams that will battle it out for top prizes. For the first time, the competition will involve women teams, according to the tournament organiser Chris Oguso, who himself was a football player.
This year’s event that has fully been sponsored by betting firm Betika, will be on a knock-out format, with the eventual winner pocketing Sh200, 000 prize money during the December 20 final.
“I started this tournament in 2011 as a non-political tournament whose goals and objectives are to empower the youth and give back to the community. I came up with this idea after I saw what teams in my county Vihiga go through in terms of talent nurturing, providing sports gears to different teams and exposing the youth to scouts from the bigger leagues to spot them,” said Oguso, who is a Chief Inspector of Police.
He added: “I grew up in this county and I have picked Ebwali High School as the venue of all finals because that is where I went to for my secondary education.”
Reigning champions Red Bees have registered for this year’s competition and are optimistic of retaining the title they won last year.
According to Onguso, former Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech will lead a team of former Harambee Stars internationals including Musa Otieno, Francis Chinjili, Francis Oduor ‘Killer’, John Shoto Lukoye and Josephat Murila among others against a local combined team.