The doors of the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue will once again open to futsal action in the coming weeks as ANSA McAL, under its Magnum brand, prepares to host the second edition of the Magnum Mash Cup.
The indoor tournament, which had a blistering first year in 2018, is being organised by Sansports with the help of the National Sports Commission (NSC) among other
The Mash Cup action will feature 32 teams from Georgetown, East Bank, East Coast, West Bank and Linden over nine nights of nail-biting football.
Speaking on behalf of Sansports, organiser Esan Griffith highlighted the importance of support for those teams that are drawn out of communities. Notably, the organiser spoke to the issues that the tournament faced in its first year, promising spectators that security was of utmost priority.
“As promoters, we want to assure that security will be the top of our priority during this tournament, so leave your guns, knives among other things and bring your rags, horns, and flags to shout for your team as the tournament progresses,” Griffith declared.
But the organiser was not done, as he made an appeal to the President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) to grant elite players the opportunity to play in the tournament.
“We want to make a public appeal to Mr [Wayne] Forde, president of GFF to rethink his position and to allow the players to come on board, so that each community could have their best team during this competition,” Griffith stated.
In 2018, the GFF had placed a sanction on all elite league players, barring them from participating in futsal and street football tournaments that were not “sanctioned under the auspices of the Elite League”.
On a lighter note, Director of Sport, Christopher Jones brought a lot of positives to the party, firstly by emphasising the need for young people (players) to see some amount of hope and commitment on the part of everyone involved, to see development in sport.
“We would like to stress the importance of young people being involved in sporting activities and that is why through investment from the Government, we will continue to make facilities available to them so that they can practice,” the Director of Sport stated, before going on to hail ANSA McAL for its continued involvement in sport.
Aside from providing the first-place trophy for the Magnum Mash Cup, the Director of Sport made the bold announcement that the NSC would be adding to the prize monies. The first-place winner would have pocketed $500,000, but they will now receive $600,000. The second- and third-place prizes which were $250,000 and $100,000 have now been increased to $350,000 and $200,000.
The Magnum Mash Cup will kick off on Saturday, February 2, with game days being February 5, 9, 13, 16, 19, 21, and 24. The finals will be staged on March 2.
Aside from the NSC and the primary sponsors, the tournament has seen support from Trophy Stall, Insurance Brokers, and Beacon Café.