Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) has rolled out a K5 million Powerstart Knockout Cup following a draw conducted at Mpira Village in Blantyre yesterday.
The tournament, which will start with last season’s top-eight teams in the ThumbsUp SRFA League Division One hosting top-eight Premier Division outfits in the round of 16, will kick off in the second week of May.
A close-quarters combat involving military sides Zomba Airwing and Changalume Barracks is one of the mouth-watering fixtures alongside that of former ThumbsUp Premier Division champions Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves against Phalombe FC.
The others are MaxSteffords versus Wizards FC, Immigration against Prison United, Ntaja United versus MDF Marines, The Polytechnic meet Fomo FC, Mulanje Mission against Sable Farming and Nambazo face Blantyre City FC (formerly Hangover FC).
After the draw, Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said they expect the game between their reserve side and Phalombe to be one of their toughest.
“We do not know how Phalombe players play. It will be a tough knockout battle that will need us to be very cautious in our approach,” he said.
During the draw, SRFA chairperson Raphael Humba said they decided to have Division One teams host the round of 16 matches because they are third-tier outfits.
Adding that they have advised the host teams to choose their preferred venues from Mulanje Stadium, Balaka Stadium, Blantyre Sports Club, Kamuzu Stadium, Mpira Stadium, Mangochi and Chilomoni Stadium because they want the games to be played in well-fenced grounds as a precautionary measure against Covid-19.
“The launch will take place at Mulanje Stadium and we expect all teams to follow the set rules of the competition,” Humba said.
According to Powertex Limited managing director Itaye Chidzero, whose battery company bankrolls the competition, they will continue with sponsorship if they are assured of success in the inaugural event in terms of players’ performance on the pitch and publicity.
Champions will receive K1 million while runners-up, third-placed and fourth-positioned will get K650 000, K350 000 and K200 000 respectively.
Losers in the round of 16 will receive K25 000 each while losing quarter-finalists will get K50 000 each.
Topscorer and player of the tournament will each get K50 000.n