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Over 1,000 teams sign up for grassroots football tourney

More than 1,500 teams will compete in the inaugural edition of grassroots football tournament dubbed ‘Chapa Dimba na Safaricom’ which begins next month across the country.

The tournament, launched two months ago, will feature 1,285 boys’ teams and 282 girls’ sides who will compete for Sh1 million cash prize as well as an opportunity to attend an international training camp in London in April next year.

“Since the launch of Chapa Dimba na Safaricom towards end of June, Football Kenya Federation has been recruiting talented boys and girls in all parts of the country. The turnout was great, although we wish more girls had come forward and display their talent just like boys did,” said Safaricom Consumer Business Director Sylvia Mulinge said.

The competition begins on September 9 at the group stage, with winners proceeding to the knock-out phase.

This will be followed by the regional finals before the finals slated for March 2018. So far, 167 teams from Nairobi region have confirmed participation, while Nyanza will have 235.

Other regions are North Eastern (80), Western (197), Rift (352) and Eastern (189). Coast will have 163 teams, with 184 from Central. Safaricom has invested Sh100 million in the programme which includes Sh10 million worth of prizes.

Part of the money will help renovate community pitches and purchase football equipment to grassroots teams.

FKF was to also pocket Sh15 million (Sh5 million a year) directly.

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