By: Nathaniel Success Topkah (Nimba County Correspondent)
With only three days before the grand finale of the 2020 Nimba County Inter-Electoral District Championship, the two finalists, District #4 and District #9 have threatened to stay away from the final match.
Their action is based on a demand in the increment of the cash prizes of this year’s finalists.
In a letter addressed to the Sports Steering Committee of Nimba and the Organizing Board of the festival, the two finalists in the football category are demanding that prize monies for the champions be LRD $300,000 and LRD $200, 000 for the runner-up while they also proposed LRD $150, 000 and LRD $100, 000 cash money for the respective first and second place kickball winners.
The grand final of the competition has been scheduled for Sunday, 4 October at the Gompa Sports Stadium. Defending champions District#4 will lock their horns against the all-time highest winners District#9 in football while District#8 wrestles with District#4 in the kickball category.
Prior to the communication, the Organizing Committee headed by Mr. Augustine Willie, decided the following cash prizes, for the football category, LRD $75, 000 for the champions, LRD $50, 000 and LRD $30, 000 for the runner-up and third place, while on the kickball side, winners are expected to pocket LDR$50, 000 second winner and the third place side to take home LDR$35, 000 as their cash prize.
On the contrary, the finalists have termed the monies placed in the trophies as a drop in the ocean.
They complained that they owed a lot of liabilities for food, medications, hotel bills and they also have the challenges compensate their various players after the tournament.
Aside the cash prizes, they are requesting the Committee to make available at least four bags of 25 kg rice alongside LRD $25, 000 to each of the District playing at the final in order to help them feed up to the Sunday’s games.
Though the prize monies outlined by the organizers are the highest ever in the league’s history, but the group are debating that if their demands are not given a careful thought, they will have no regret in boycotting the grand final.
Last year, Twah-river District#4 bagged LDR$35, 000 LD as cash for the first place in football, the highest in the tournament before that time, whilst the kickball winner collected LDR$20, 000.
Unlike previous editions, this year’s District League is the first ever where participating teams that dropped on the way are given subsidies or bonuses for transportation.
The Organizing Committee is yet to comment on the calls from the Districts, however, they have disclosed that there will be other prestigious personal accolades given to few individual players in recognition of their outstanding performances during the course of the tournament.
The awards are, Most Valuable Player (MVP), best goalkeeper, top scorer, outstanding defender and best midfielder.
The various individual award winners will be decorated with certificate and a token of cash. But the best shot stopper will be given a pair of gloves while the highest goal scorer will also acquired a pair boots.