The 2012 Standard Bank Knockout Trophy returns in fashion with a relaunch symbolic cup match involving defending champions Blue Eagles and TNM Super League kings and hosts, Silver Strikers this Saturday.
A handsome K600 000 (about $2 400), which is outside this yearâ€™s increased sponsorship package, is at stake for the winner of the mock cup, said Standard Bank Malawi head of marketing Linda Kachingwe-Sisya in a press release issued on Wednesday.
With guest of honour, Sports and Youth Minister Enoch Chihana, to unveil the ultimate sponsorship increase package, the occasion will also be spiced up by a live band performance.
“Thereafter, there will be a colourful fun fare which will see the cup paraded by our brand ambassadors from the City Centre to all the way to Silver Stadium in Area 47. The funfare gives our customers and fans alike an opportunity to be part of the Standard Bank Cup experience. We are therefore asking soccer fans to come in their large numbers with their vuvuzelas.
“The match between Blue Eagles and Silver Strikers has been arranged to mark the official kick-off of this yearâ€™s Knockout Cup in the same way that they do a Charity Shield in the UK ahead of every English Premier League season. The winner of that match will cart home a cash prize money of K600 000.
“As a leading bank in Malawi and Africa, the Standard Bank is synonymous with the continentâ€™s largest sport, football, and that is why we are launching this yearâ€™s sponsorship in style. Our decision to splash an additional K600 000 (about $2 400) to the winner of the launch match is in line with our strategic goal as a long-term partner of football development in Malawi,” she said.
Voting for the four teams that will be involved in the preliminary knockout phase starts on July 2. The tournamentâ€™s rules stipulate that only six top teams in the previous Super League season, have automatic qualification.