FAM has announced that the battle for the Standard Bank Knockout Cup K7 million (about $28 000) ultimate prize cheque begins next weekend with preliminary matches.
Big Bullets fans bore testimony that their fans are Standard Bank customers when they cast a massive 4 106 votes to ensure their teamâ€™s participation in the showpiece.
This was revealed during the competitionâ€™s draw held at FAMâ€™s Chiwembe Technical Centre in Limbe on Friday where the Peopleâ€™s Team was pitted against Red Lions who came second with 462 votes.
Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire said this was testimony to the fact that Bulletsâ€™ supporters are Standard Bank customers.
Azam Tigers, who had 458 votes on third place, will host Blantyre United who accumulated 315 votes.
Winners of the two ties will be at home against Epac in the two-leg quarter-finals.
Defending champions Blue Eagles start their defence with a tough away quarter-final fixture against Silver Strikers.
Mighty Wanderers FC face Escom United while, in a repeat of the 2010 finals, two-time winners Moyale will start at home against Civo United.
The winner of the game between Wanderers and Escom will face the victor between the preliminary winners and Epac in the first semi-final.
The winners from the other games will form the other semi-final fixture.
The preliminary semi-finals will be played on August 11, with the finals on August 17, 18 or 19.
The dates for the quarter-finals, semis and finals will be determined later, but the competition winds up in September.
â€œThis is a tricky draw because Red Lions are very tough to beat at home. They frustrated us in the Super League last week but we will give our best,â€ said Bullets assistant coach Gerald Phiri.
Eagles captain Peter â€˜Shoesâ€™ Mgangira also downplayed their draw against his former team, who beat them at home in the league two weeks ago.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said: â€œThis was a free and fair draw and my appeal to teams is that they should understand the draw so that they donâ€™t make unnecessary noise as the cup progresses. We will also send them the rules of the competition.â€
Standard Bank marketing officer Tidzi Chalamba said the bank expects an exciting tournament.
â€œWe are impressed with how the fans participated in the voting. They will also vote for the venue of the finals and may the best team win,â€ he said.
Standard Bank will dress all the quarter-finalists, who will also receive K250 000 (about $1 000) each as appearance fee. The winner will get K 7 million and runners up K 3.5 million (about $14 000) while the losing semi-finalists will pocket K500 000 (about $2 000) each.