Nkopala, Beach Eagles, Deep Bay and Nyasa are in semi finals of the HTD Beach Soccer National Championship after the first day of the competition’s finals held at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima.
Nkopola qualified after emerging leaders in group A following victories over Munali and Beach Eagles.
Beach Eagles qualified as the group’s runners up after beating Munali.
In Group B, all teams tied at three points each but Nyasa emerged top on goal difference with a victory over Chipala and a loss to Deep Bay.
Deep Bay, who lost to Chipala, were runners up.
Nkopola will face Deep Bay in semi-finals while Nyasa take on Beach Eagles.
Minister of Sports Uchizi Mkandawire, who was guest of honour, launched the final which was spiced up by a performance by Amapiono star Zeze Kingston.
Speaking during the event FAM president Walter Nyamilandu thanked HTD Malawi Limited for sponsoring the national championship to the tune of K20 million.
“Last year, you promised to sponsor Beach Soccer National Championship. Today you have fulfilled that promise This is a sign that you are big corporate citizen.
“K20 million is alot for us. We know we want more. But we appreciate what you have given us.
“What you have given us is what is giving the teams the motivation to continue playing beach soccer on the shores of Lake Malawi.”
The FAM boss said beach soccer has potential to put the country on the world map having already proved that by qualifying for CAF Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations held in Mozambique last year.
Nyamilandu explained: “If the beach soccer team made it to Afcon, what more if they get maximum support. The team has given us hope that the sky is the limit. We can even qualify for the Beach Soccer World Cup.”
Nyamilandu pleaded with Ministry of sports to include beach soccer in its budget.
Mkandawire promised government’s support in the association’s efforts.
He said: “Let me assure you of government support for sports. Let me also applaud HTD Malawi Limited for sponsoring the beach soccer national championship.”
HTD Malawi Limited chief executive officer Haris Sadik said they decided to sponsor the championship to help develop the sport in the country.
He said: “The private sector can play an important role in promoting sports. Soccer in Africa is like a religion. In Malawi it is also the same. I grew up playing football and my position was goalkeeper. I saw that Malawi has alot of talent. We are KIA vehicles dealers and we need to identify avenues which can promote our products. What else can promote our products if not football.”
Beach Soccer Malawi chairperson Gift Chimbalanga thanked HTD Malawi Limited for the sponsorship.
He said: ” If it wasn’t for HTD Limited we could not have been here. We do not take this sponsorship for granted.”