Lucrative prizes, top football action promised as K&S launches its 23rd edition
Most Valuable Player drives off with Luxury vehicle
Sixteen teams comprising the nation’s best footballers will face the starting lineup, all optimistic of adding their name to the ‘Holy Grail,’ when activities in the 23rd edition of the Kashif and Shanghai football extravaganza gets underway from December 16 to January 1 next at venues countrywide. The organizers of K&S have gone one step further and will also host an U-13 tournament adjacent to the above mentioned one. Details pertaining to this tournament are forthcoming.
Those participating in the K&S extravaganza will be vying for a top prize of four million dollars while the team finishing second receives one million dollars. The third and fourth places will cart off $750,000 and $500,000 respectively. Additionally, the Most Valuable Player will win a luxury motor car while coaches will be compensated for their hard work when the best among the lot receives one motorcycle.
Activities got off to a start when the two Directors of K&S Football Organization, Kashif Muhammad and Aubrey ‘Shanghai’ Major joined President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Franklin Wilson and personnel from several corporate entities sponsoring the competition, at the Princes Hotel International, Providence EBD, to give updates of this year’s tournament and what the fans could expect. Also in attendance were Demerara Distillers Ltd Marketing Executive, Alexis Crawford, Ansa McAl Brand Manager (Stag), John Maikoo and Ansa McAl Marketing Executive, Nigel Worrell.
Mr. Muhammad said that his group will seek to interact with its traditional supporters by staging matches in those communities. He mentioned such villages as Uitvlugt, Beterverwagting and Buxton. He admitted that the organizers were forced to omit the Buxton Community Centre Ground from its itinerary for a few tournaments through circumstances beyond their control. “We are pleased to reinstate that community into our fold,” said Mr. Muhammad. The finals will be held at the National Stadium, Providence.
Mr. Muhammad further reminded of the historic contribution of the event to the growth and development of the game locally, topped by the visit of the world football icon, Brazilian, Edison Arantes do Nascimento, AKA King Pele.
Mr. Muhammad lamented the misfortunes experienced by his entity in the 22nd edition that instigated a massive boycott of the tournament. He remains adamant that such an eventuality gravely affected the development of the sport and by extension hindered the advancement of local ball weavers. He was loud in praise for the corporate entities that ignored the detractors and continued to invest in the tournament.
Beverage giants, Ansa McAl was among those that remained committed and that company had launched a tournament where the community purchasing the most Stag Beers, identifiable by the number of crowns deposited in a box at fixtures, would have received some three million dollars towards the development of the sports infrastructure of that community. Linden was last year’s winners and rehabilitative works have started towards the Mackenzie Sports Club Ground. Mr. Worrell said that works have been ongoing at the facility and should be completed within the next two weeks.
Mr. Worrell said that his company will be joining forces with the K&S group and he suspects that the prize money allocated to the ‘Under the Crown’ promotion would be substantially increased.
Ms Langhorne reminded that DDL has come on board three years ago and her executives are pleased with the returns. She reiterated her company’s support even as she urged the Guyanese to support the venture.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wilson admitted that the sport has been experiencing turbulent times after one of their affiliates, the Georgetown Football Association (GFA), approached the courts to address issues pertaining to football. Such action has created a division in the fraternity with some of the clubs opting out of the K&S tournament in preference to one organized by the GFA. He bemoaned this development even as he congratulated the K&S organizers for their demonstration of zest and vitality in their efforts to maintain the high quality of football their fans have grown accustomed to.
Quizzed on the effects on the sport Wilson declared, “No one could foresee what lies ahead but I think it is a senseless ramble that could see the game falling into disrepute and the footballers suffering.”
Mr. Muhammad acknowledged the input of several companies that, despite the turbulent times, refused to abandon ship. Mohamed’s Enterprise of Lombard Street was singled out as one of these entities. The K&S Director further revealed that they are currently engaged in discussions with other business entities concerning their input into the tournament. “Whichever way it goes, football fans are assured of a highly qualitative tournament,” Mr. Muhammad declared.