The 2023 version of the much anticipated MTN Ashantifest Soccer tournament is official following a formal launch in Kumasi earlier this morning, and confirmation that it will feature an unprecedented 16 sides competing for glory in a competition which will now span two months.
Tafo which humbled Asokwa 4-1 in last year’s decider which was also a curtain raiser to the 2022 MTN FA Cup final, is back in contention as the tournament expands from 12 last year, after only housing 8 sides the previous term.
“The community football gala was introduced in 2021 with only 8 communities in Kumasi. I am excited to inform you that it has now been extended to 16 communities and beyond Kumasi to Ejisu this year. The competition is getting bigger and better,” said Charles Osei Akoto, MTN Regional Sales & Distribution, Northern Ghana in a speech on behalf of MTN General Manager.
“You are not just playing for yourselves. You are playing for the communities you represent, an embodiment of the hopes and aspirations of your fans and as such, I encourage you all to give it your best shot. It is also important to remember that winning and losing are only part of the game. Enjoy the game and play well. May the best team win in 2023,” Mr. Akoto added.
Aside the football action and expected huge army of local and international football scouts seeking to identify talents, the eventual winners will walk home with a whooping twenty Ghana Cedis, as well there is 10,000 Ghana Cedis up for the beaten finalists and 5,000 Ghana Cedis for a 3rd placed finish.
All 16 participating teams have however already pocketed an appearance fee of three thousand Ghana Cedis, a massive improvement on the one thousand Ghana Cedis they received last year.
Divided into four zones, A, B, C and D, each of which will take their turn each weekend in an all-play-all battle beginning this Saturday, June 17 to the next day, Sunday June 18 at the Asem Boys School Park when Amakom, Asafo, Fanta New Town and Ejisu face-off in Zone A in the race to determine the first two sides to grab their ticket to a mouthwatering quarter final stage.
On match weekend 3, the State Girls Kokoase Park in Abrepo is the venue for Zone C action as Bantama, the defending champs Tafo, Suame and the hosts Abrepo of course slug it out for the bragging rights on June 30 and July 1.
The preliminary stage rounds off on the weekend of 7 and 8 July at the Atonsu Astro Turf Park. In the event, Adum, Santasi, Kwadaso and Atonso are scheduled to fight it out for the final two slots in the next round
“Ashantifest is back. Ashantifest, as you all know, is our annual regional festival created by MTN, aimed at bringing the brand closer to Asanteman and showing appreciation to you, our cherished customers. At MTN, we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. As we celebrate the comeback of Ashantifest, we will continue to make the lives of our customers a whole lot brighter,” continued the General Manager’s speech.
“The celebration also comes with targeted promotional offers for customers in the region and this year will be no exception. Our valued Customers in Ashanti region can dial *141# for unique offers, just for you. This promotion will last for three long months. Let us spread the good news,” he added.