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The Chronicle

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Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter

The fourth edition of the Dumisani “Zifa” Ndlovu Foundation football tournament got off to a brilliant start at Milton High School in Bulawayo on Saturday.

Disturbed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw no action taking place in 2020, 2021, and 2022, the tournament saw four schools battle it out on the field of play for the first round of games. Milton, Gifford Boys High School, Entumbane High School, and Mtshabezi High School are the schools that took part in Saturday’s action.

Milton versus Entumbane in Dumisani Foundation Milton versus Entumbane in Dumisani Foundation football tournament

A total of six games were played in the first round with all teams giving their all in the event sponsored by United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean school teacher, Dumisani Ndlovu. Five of the six games played were for males as two of the participating schools, Milton and Gifford are for boys only. Gifford recorded the biggest win of the day after they thumped old foes, Milton 4-0 in their opening encounter before going on to register a one all stalemate against Entumbane and a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Mtshabezi.

After being drubbed 4-0, Milton drew 0-0 with Entumbane and the latter went on to register a 1-0 victory over Mtshabezi. The only girls match that took place saw Mtshabezi and Entumbane sharing the spoils after a 1-1 draw. The tournament will be played across four venues with the next round set to take place at Gifford before going on to Entumbane and the final round of fixtures being hosted by Mtshabezi in August to conclude the fourth edition of the decorated event.

Ndlovu learnt at Mtshabezi and Gifford before going on teach to teach at Entumbane while his best friend whom they were together at Mtshabezi and Gifford went on to become an educator at Milton thus the four schools taking part in the tournament.

Mtshabezi versus Gifford in Dumisani Foundation football tournament Mtshabezi versus Gifford in Dumisani Foundation football tournament

“He has a passion for soccer so when he went to the United Kingdom as a teacher, he wanted to plough back to grassroots so he created this tournament with the four schools he has links with and it runs yearly but was disturbed by Covid-19,” said tournament director, Tendai Machawira.

He added that he was impressed with the levels of discipline that was shown by the players throughout the matches played and Ndlovu is also looking at creating scholarships for those who perform well, both in sport and academically.

“He (Ndlovu) was looking at creating scholarships for those that do well in soccer and academics, one or two boys might get an opportunity to go to the UK because he said he can get many partners if things are done properly.

“So far, it has been a very good display of football considering that it is the first pre-season tournament between schools, there were high levels of discipline, I never saw a red card coming out, maybe one or two yellow cards of course but the discipline is high,” said Machawira.

Each year, Ndlovu supplies each school with a new kit and also brings another set of kits for the finals. He also provides match balls and on Saturday every school received two new balls. – @brandon_malvin

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