China and Kenya are set to battle in an international football tournament at the Ngong Race Course in Nairobi next month on March 11.
The Chinese teams are already stepping up training for the inaugural Tsingtao Beer Friendship Cup at various venues in Nairobi.
Leo Simba FC captain Louis Lee is already upbeat ahead of the tournament whose objective is to strengthen the 60- year old cordial relationship between Kenya and China.
“We feel fit and ready for the competition. We train weekly at the Ngong Road Arena Astroturf in Jamhuri, We are currently working on our speed and mental toughness before the tournament,” Lee told Standard Sports.
Four Kenyan outfits and two Chinese teams will battle in the six- aside knock-out tournament that has lucrative prizes on offer.
Already upbeat to feature in the event are the Kenya Sports Journalist (KSJ) FC and the Kenya Football Fans Federation (KFFF) FC.
The KSJ representative Erick Ochieng said their side has already resumed training vigorously for the season and the Tsingtao Beer Friendship Cup will be a stepping stone towards greater heights this year.
“We are happy with the tournament invite, we not only look forward to participating in the event but to create long lasting relationships with our Chinese friends.
“This year, KSJ has a great vision which is to take part in other international championships in Arusha and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Kampala (Uganda) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).
“We also have plans to hold our own internal awards at the end of the year to honor some of our best performing players in the season,” Ochieng added.
Tsingtao Beer Manager Sammy Zhan has thanked the KFFF for coming on board to help them organize the international football showpiece which they will also compete as players.
“This tournament will strengthen the existing bond between Kenya and China. We are glad to be part of it. As it grows, we hope to expand it to include other sports disciplines apart from football,” Zhan underlined.
Zhan’s sentiments were echoed by Tournament Director Balozi Yang who said they have worked round the clock to make the contest a success.
“We are hopeful that the fans will enjoy the games. We are confident the matches will be nerve cracking going by the teams registered,” underlined Balozi who is also the Smant Media Services proprietor.