The second edition of the Tigo Community Soccer challenge, Ghanaâ€™s largest community based football tournament, got off to overwhelming success over the weekend.
Held over two days and comprising 16 teams, Tigo Community Soccer, is purposed to celebrate grassroots football and reward aspiring footballers and their communities.
This yearâ€™s edition kicked off in Bukom, Accra. Known as the hub of boxing in Ghana, Bukom doubles as a hotbed of football and Tigo Community Soccer brought the town to a standstill. Politics and boxing took the backseat as football was celebrated by the teams from areas such as Osu, Mamprobi, Korle-Gonno and Akoto Lante among others.
The matches spilled with thrills with every one of them intensely competitive by fans of all ages who charged their teams on. The Bukom Square, venue of the event, was parked to the brim by supporters who braved the sun to support the event.
Mamprobi beat all comers to win the trophy, medals and cash prize of GH? 500 cedis. Disciplined and composed, they exhibited a brand of football similar to professional side. It came as no surprise that their maestro, Ahmed Quaye, scooped the Most Valuable Player award. For inspiring his team to the title, Quaye was awarded a brand new Samsung Galaxy smart phone.
In the heated final, Mamprobi faced a stiff challenge from Ansere. They took an early lead in the first half and had to hold off an endless Ansere fight back. But Ansere failed to utilise several chances to level to the game, their best coming late when a shot struck the crossbar. Mamprobi held on to their lead and won the title.
Ansere received first-runner up medals, Tigo souvenirs and a cash prize of GH?300 cedis for their second place finish. Home team, Bukom, settled for third place and received a cash price of GH? 150 cedis together with Tigo souvenirs.
Supporters were not left out of the competition as they vied for prizes in an Azonto challenge.
The BTL Coordinator of the giants telecommunication, Alfred Dowouna Hammond, Â spoke about purpose behind the competition.
â€œTigo Community Soccer is aimed at bringing communities together through football to preach the message of unity and togetherness. This Bukom edition has been very impressive from the beginning to the very end. The matches have been competitive and the spirit of harmony has prevailed.â€
â€œThis is what Tigo represents: teamwork, hard work, perseverance and quality service.â€
Nii Addo Quaynor, a resident of Bukom and a supporter of the Atukpai team summed up theÂ Â Â feeling of the fans.
â€œIt is great what Tigo has done for us. Football between the neighbourhoods has been going on for a long time but to be actually given these wonderful prices to do what we love to do is just wonderful. We thank Tigo for this wonderful experience.â€
Tigo Community Soccer challenge is the brainchild of Millicom Ghana limited, operators of Tigo. The first edition of the tournament was held in 2010 to a rousing success. The second edition has been revamped to make it more exciting and rewarding to the communities.
The new and improved Tigo Community Soccer, now involves 16 teams instead of eight. In keeping with Tigoâ€™s commitment to bettering lives, it has also partnered the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to unearth and develop new talent. The partnership is expected to provide opportunities for promising footballers after the competition.
Mr.Â George Afriyie who represented the GFA at the opening ceremony pledged the support of the governing body to Tigo Community Soccer.
The Tigo Community Soccer train stops at Dansoman this Saturday.