NAIROBI, Kenya, January 27- Girls’ teams will take part in this year’s Safaricom Sakata Ball 2011 tournament in which Sh3.5 million in prize money will be up for grabs.Over 2700 teams are expected to take part in the tournament from the grassroots from Central, Eastern, Rift Valley, Western Nyanza Coast and North Eastern regions.
The tournament is structured in four levels namely, kick off/mashinani,zonal, regional and national. Save for North Eastern, each of the regions will have 16 centres totalling to 113 centres across the country.
Logistics and event organisation of the tournament are being handled by celebrated national lower league managers Ligi Ndogo.
“For the second year running, Safaricom will be going round the country-mashinani in search of the finest football talent. After a very succesful Sakata Ball 2010 campaign, we promise to continue providing a platform through which our Kenyan soccer talent can be unearthed and presented to a national audience with an eye on life-changing opportunities; and nurture Kenya’s next generation of football superstars,” said Safaricom Chief Commercial Officer Peter Arina.
The tournament will be a build-up from the hugely successful 2010 Sakata Ball event that has been billed as one of the best talent search activities sponsored by a corporate organisation in the country.
There are several success stories of the Sakata Ball 2010 which include the signing up by Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars of former Taqwa FC striker AbdiMalik Mohammed and Ali Yusuf formerly of the Kitale’s Solidarity FC who currently turns-up for premier league side Western Stima.
The previous tournament also boasts of Anthony Mbugua of Bukembe FC who was called up by Liberty Academy in Nairobi. The academy is a local branch of the Liberty Professionals Ghana that has produced top flight football stars among them Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Gyan Asamoah.
The season’s first regional finals are planned for Machakos (Eastern Region) on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th February at the Kenyatta Stadium from 8.00am. Preparations for the same are in top gear.