ALL IS set for the Benjani Mwaruwari Under-16 Youth Festival tournament finals that take place at White City Stadium this weekend.
The former Warriors skipper is expected to grace the finals. He was due to arrive in the country yesterday from South Africa.
The last eight teams were supposed to play a round-robin tournament before the semi-finals and the final, but the format has been changed as most of the players are taking part in some schools tournament today and the organisers fear the players might be tired.
The eight teams, Ajax Hotspurs, Mpumelelo, Chicken Inn, Santos, Bantu Rovers, LMC and two schools – Magwegwe Secondary and Masiyephambili – will now play in the quarter-finals tomorrow, before the semi-finals and final on Sunday.
A draw for the quarter-final was conducted yesterday at the Zifa Bulawayo offices by Zifa Bulawayo Province Junior Football League chairman Mkhululi Mthunzi and one of the organisers Dumaza Dube. The first quarter-final match will be a Mpopoma derby pitting Ajax and Mpumelelo. The second will be Masiyephambili against LMC and then Chicken Inn will take on Santos.
The last match features favourites Bantu Rovers and Magwegwe Secondary School.
The winner between Ajax and Mpumelelo will play the winner between Chicken Inn and Santos in the first semi-final with the second pitting the winner between Masiyephambili and LMC and the winner between Bantu Rovers and Magwegwe Secondary on Sunday before the final.
Mthunzi thanked Mwaruwari and the organisers of the tournament.
“We would like to congratulate the teams that made it to this stage. We know it was not an easy walk in the park. We thought Benji (Mwaruwari) would be here. He has given a lot to junior football and our local football. We declare zero tolerance on age cheating. We are proud that as Bulawayo we have a dynamic league. We have players who have gone straight from the Under-16 into the PSL,” Mthunzi said.
One such player is Bantu Rovers striker Bukhosi Sibanda.
Warriors assistant coach Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku represented Mwaruwari at the draw.