Africa-Press – South-Sudan. Malekia Football Club was on Sunday crowned the 2021 soccer champions of Eastern Equatoria State in Torit town at a function attended by the president of the South Sudan Football Association.
This was after Malekia FC beat Hinatie FC one goal to nil at the Torit freedom square to lift the trophy on Saturday. Malekia FC will now represent the Torit local football association in the national competition where they will face winning clubs from other states in the national tournament.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Sunday after the game, Malekia FC’s captain, Mathew Bongomin, said he was overjoyed by the victory and called on Hinatie FC who lost to support them as they represent the state at the national level.
“I feel happy, I feel proud because I am a champion of the South Sudan Cup in Torit 2021. After a very hard struggle, we had to win. Before the league had started, we were struggling to do our training for the win and we were confident that one day we will be the champions and we deserved the win,” Bongomin said.
He added: “My message to Hinatie FC is that they should take heart. This is a game, today is ours and next time it will be theirs. We are going to represent the state, let them all rally behind us because we are going to carry the flag of the state.” Hakim David, a Hinatie FC player, admitted the loss and said his team missed several chances to score.
“The match was not bad. We played all the matches and they also played theirs and of course in football, you cannot come and say I am going to lose, no. Everyone comes for better results. We played our best and they also played according to their capacity,” Hakim said. “In football, two things are always involved, it is either you win or lose. So, we are accepting the results of the match.”
The president of Torit Local Football Association, Akile Maridi, commended the efforts and collaboration of the club managers until the finals and said playing football is one way of achieving peace.
“Football is peace, football in this state is peace, football in South Sudan is peace and this is the way to peace in every society. Football can bring all people together,” Akile said. “People were here yesterday (Saturday) under the rain. President (SSFA), people of Torit love sports so much and you have seen with your eyes that these are the people who love football very much. I thank the managers of the clubs for standing with me until this day.”
For his part, the President of the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA), Augustino Maduot, stressed the need to support the young boys to meet their aspirations in football.
“This is the program of FIFA, anyone who has no playing ground, should take it seriously. We also have football at the grassroots, you see the young boys, you need to support them also and we have to support the women,” Maduot said. “My last remark is that we are planning to increase the number of Football Associations, we have to make associations in Kapoeta, Nimule. For us at the SSFA, when you start any program and start with the football ground, we will contribute and when you start an office, we will contribute.” The South Sudan Cup finals in Torit attracted thousands of Spectators including Government officials.