Standard Bank Top Eight Knockout Cup defending champions Blue Eagles will face Silver Strikers at the launch of this yearâ€™s edition on June 30.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has also changed the format to allow the previous editionâ€™s champions to defend the title.
“FAM and the sponsors have agreed a new format where six top teams from the 2011/12 Super League and Blue Eagles will automatically qualify to the quarter-finals which will be played on home-and-away basis.
“This entails that only one team from the four teams that bank customers will vote for as from July 2 2012 will make it to the quarter-finals. The two winners from the preliminary round will battle it out and the winner will proceed to the quarter-finals. Last year, two teams from the voted made it to the quarter-finals,” said FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda..
Blue Eagles secretary general Ackis Muwanga has applauded both FAM and Standard Bank for the change.
“This is great news for us. It could have been abnormal for us to depend on votes to defend the trophy. We are the champions and as such, we were automatically supposed to defend the cup,” said Muwanga.
Meanwhile, Silver said they are geared to win trophy that has eluded them since inception of the tournament.
“We are targeting a treble this season. We really want to be successful in cup competitions as well and it will be a great achievement to add the Standard Bank and the Presidential Cup to the league title. We have a great squad that can win us trophies,” said Silver coach Thom Mkorongo.
Standard Bank will announce the new sponsorship on June 30, according to the bankâ€™s head of marketing Linda Kachingwe-Sisya.