Mayoral Tournament ignites soccer fans

THABO MBEKI — The 2018 Lephalale Local Municipality Mayoral Tournament was kick-started at Thabo Mbeki Stadium in Thabo Mbeki Village (formerly Witpoort) on Saturday 8 September.

The annual Mayoral Tournament with 32 teams was incepted in 2012 soon after Jack Maeko took the reigns as Mayor of Lephalale Municipality (LLM).

According to a spokesperson at LLM, the tournament aims to promote sports to maintain and improve physical ability and soccer skills for the youth of Lephalale. It was also an initiative to keep the youth off the streets while also providing enjoyment and entertainment to the teams and spectators.

The number of teams that participate in the tournament is the same as in the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) world cup, where 32 teams from four cardinals of the world meet and battle for the prestigious trophy after playing in the continental qualifying games.

With the Mayoral tournament there is no qualifying or selection process for teams that wish to participate, as information is dispersed prior to the tournament for interested teams to register on first come first served basis.

The Mayoral Tournament runs for over three weeks. This year it started on 8 September until the first weekend in October. The winning team takes home R50 000 and the runners-up R35 000.

So far 16 teams have already exited the tournament after the first two days and the highest score line was seen with the Black Stars of Seleka beating Rocky FC of Marapong 9-2 on Sunday evening.

As organisers of the tournament, Lephalale Municipality spokesperson says they are excited with the response they received from the public as it exceeded their expectations.

In the top 16, Seleka leads with three representing teams, followed by Mmaletswai, Mokuruanyane and Marapong with two teams each in the tournament. Thabo Mbeki, the host village, has one representing team.

Before the top 16 teams will play, a fixtures announcement will be made.

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