The National Milling Company (Namilco) has pumped $1.5 million into this year’s Fruta Conquerors Football Festival which kicks off next Friday at the Tucville ground.
At the official launch on Friday at the Namilco head office, the company’s general manager Bert Sukhai, said his company had decided to sponsor the tournament to assist the development of football and because of the Fruta Conquerors Club’s commitment to the development of the game.
“We would like to see the standard of football steadily improving so that we could reach the level where we do not get knocked out in the preliminary rounds of the World Cup and other prestigious tournaments,” Sukhai said.
He noted that the Fruta Conquerors Club, now its 25th year of existence, had shown strong leadership and had as one of its goals, the development of the Tucville playfield, which he said, had prompted the company to partner the club in the Festival.
Sukhai said that Namilco was also involved in the promotion of various sporting activities in Guyana and had sponsored one of Guyana’s top amateur boxers to the World Amateur Boxing Championships held recently in Chicago, USA.
The company had also sponsored the annual Wheat Up cycle road race on Caricom Day.
He called on the participating teams to be properly prepared as so much could be derived from the tournament.
Sixteen teams will participate in the tournament with Georgetown providing 12 teams and Upper Demerara, East Coast Demerara, West Demarara and East Bank Demerara one team each.
The winners will take home $400,000, with the runners-up claiming $200,000, third place $100,000 and fourth place $50,000.
There will be other incentive prizes including awards for the most valuable player (MVP), highest goal-scorer, best goal-keeper and young promising players (2).
Several companies have made donations to the incentive prizes including Two J’s store which will contribute to the most valuable player prize, Juniors Jewelery, which will provide the highest goal scorer prize, Swansea, who will provide the best goalkeeper award and Global Technology which will provide the awards for the two promising players.
Fruta Conquerors’ executive Wayne Forde, said the fourth Annual Festival would be played on a knockout basis and all the matches would be played at the Tucville Playfield.
However, there is a likelihood that the final will be played at a larger venue with the National Stadium at Providence being one of the venues proposed.
Vice-president of the club Andrea Ash, accepted the sponsorship cheque in the presence of President of the Georgetown Football Association (GFA) Troy Mendonca and officials of Namilco including Operat-ions Manager German-national Ralf Hemsing who was instrumental in securing the sponsorship for the Club.
Proceeds of the tournament will go towards the development of the Tucville Playfield.