KWEKWE — Amaveni Football Academy and Amaveni Queens won the inaugural U13 Celebration
Cup tournament bankrolled by Celebration Church Kwekwe in partnership with Rare Diamond
AFA beat Mbizo Soccer Academy 3-2 through penalty kicks after the game ended one all in
regulation time at Amaveni Stadium.
Amaveni Football Academy and Amaveni Queens won a floating trophy each, one cooler box each,
US$50 cash each and an assortment of beverages.
Mbizo Queens came third and received US$20 and beverages while runners up Celebration Queens
went home with US$20 and beverages.
In the boys’ category, runners up Mbizo Soccer Academy received US$30, cooler box and beverages.
The other four teams each received US$20 and beverages.
Pastor Lionel Dangarembizi, Celebration Church Kwekwe pastor and co-founder of Rare Diamonds
Network with his wife Winfield Dangarembizi said the Celebration Cup Tournament is an annual
event with the objective of curtailing drug abuse through sport.
The tournament featured both boys and girls U13 teams. There were six boys’ teams namely Mbizo
Soccer Academy, Amaveni Football academy, Globe and Phoenix juniors, Pedals, Football Academy
of Kwekwe and host Celebration Academy which is based at Thulani Village, formerly Tor Structures.
There were three girls’ teams Amaveni Queens, Mbizo Queens and Celebration Queens. The girls’
competition was open for all ages. Amaveni won the championship after dispatching both Mbizo 1-0
and Celebration 2-0.
All the teams went home with cash prizes, beverages while winners received trophies courtesy of
sponsors Celebration Church and Rare Diamond Network.
In terms of junior football development team coaches were satisfied with the ability of their players
to adjust to tournament environment and level of competition.
"We won not because we are the best but because of the quality of football development we are
impacting to the youngsters. I salute my players for bringing out the best they have and the desire
they have in learning the ropes in the game," said AFA head coach Shaiso Chiduku.
He added: "We have just started a girls’ team and they responded well. I really appreciate their
His counterpart Simbarashe Gutu complained of age cheating after the final match.
My young boys played according to instructions from the first game up to the final. If the opposition
team had fielded players with correct and right ages, we could have easily won the tournament. I
only had two days of training the ladies team, they lacked match fitness but with time they will be a
strong team,said Gutu.
Chiduku and Gutu could not sit on the bench for the semi-finals and final match. The two coaches
were banned from the touch line after being involved in a verbal and physical altercation due to
player age cheating issues. The dispute took more than 30 minutes to be settled.
Semi-finalists Globe and Phoenix together with Celebration were happy with their teams’ progress.
“With junior football, the emphasis is not about winning. It is all about developing the youngsters in
the game. We have been training, preparing for this tournament and today I saw that there are
adapting well and they will become better footballers.
“They were able to maintain the rhythm but lacked concentration. We will work on that at training
and adjust to produce positive results. We will keep on working with our girls’ team, they played well
but luck was not on our side today, said Celebration coach Simon Pore.
I came here as a standby coach as the man in charge of the team could not make it today. In terms
of development, I think we are getting there. The whole team was able to play according to
instructions which is a very encouraging response from players who are under 13 years of age," said
Globe and Phoenix caretaker coach Shame Phiri.