The ninth edition of the Standard Bank Knockout Cup will roll into action on September 12 with a K3 million sponsorship increase, making it a K43 million competition.
During the launch of the 2015 edition in Blantyre yesterday, the bank’s marketing manager Brian Mungomo Jnr said the package will cater for administration, equipment and prizes.
“We are back with K43 million sponsorship. We realised how close Malawians are to soccer and we want them to enjoy this edition, which will be a precursor to the 10th anniversary edition in 2016. Our only plea is that people should avoid violence and hooliganism at all cost as was the case last year,” Mungomo said.
Nevertheless, he said the overall prize package has been reduced from last year’s 28 million to a normal purse of K25 million, but prizes will remain the same. Mungomo said the K3 million addition to the 2014 package was part of celebrating the eighth edition of the competition.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu thanked the bank for resurfacing this year and pre-empting their commitment to come back with another sponsorship next year.
“We hope that the game of football will continue being exciting, we expect discipline from all stakeholders as the bank will not tolerate any hooliganism and violence,” said Nyamilandu.
FAM competitions officer Gomezgani Zakazaka said top six teams in last year’s TNM Super League, namely Big Bullets, Moyale Barracks, Blue Eagles, Red Lions, Silver and Civo United have automatically made it into the knockout stage.
But the other nine teams in the current league season, Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, Mafco FC, Epac FC, Kamuzu Barracks, Dedza Young Soccer, Azam Tigers, Airborne Rangers, Mzuni FC and Fisd Wizards will be at the mercy of Standard Bank customers, who transact business with the financial institution.
“The customers are expected to vote for four teams, who will engage into the play-offs between September 12 and 13 to identify two outfits that will battle it out against the six seeded sides,” he said.
The voting starts from today up to September 1. Then a draw for the preliminary and semi-final stage will be conducted on September 2. Semi-finals are expected on 17 and 18 September before the finals on October 31.
Silver Strikers are the defending champions. n