|The return of Mbada Cup|
|Saturday, 11 August 2012 00:00|
THE countdown to the richest knockout football competition, the Mbada Diamonds Cup, began yesterday after the Premier Soccer League and the sponsors signed an agreement for this year’s tourney. PSL boss Twine Phiri represented the league while Mbada Diamonds chief executive, Patience Khumalo, inked the deal on behalf of the sponsors.
The deal was signed behind closed doors, but the second edition of the Cup is likely to have its draw conducted before the end of this month.
Matches in the competition, the only all-inclusive tournament for all the 16 Premiership teams, are likely to roar into life in September at various venues across the country.
Details of the full package for this year will be unveiled at the draw, but Mbada Diamonds media liaison officer, Tafadzwa Chiremba, is optimistic that this year’s competition would be more exciting.
“We confirm that Mbada Diamonds Cup will be back this year. An agreement has since been signed between Mbada Diamonds and PSL at a private function this (yesterday) morning,” said Chiremba.
Last year, Mbada injected US$1 million and spent more than that for the competition that easily became the biggest knock out cup in the history of local football. Chiremba said they were now working on the dates where this year’s tournament would be unveiled.
“Finer details pertaining to the prize monies will be communicated at the launch of the prestigious cup at a date later to be advised,” he said.
Last year, Harare giants Dynamos won the Mbada Diamonds Cup after beating Motor Action 1-0 in a rain-drenched final at the National Sports Stadium. The game was beamed live on SuperSport.
DeMbare earned US$75 000 while the Mighty Bulls walked way with US$50 000. Zimbabwe Saints and FC Platinum who were knocked out in the semi-finals took US$10 000 home.
Quarter-finalists Blue Rangers, Shooting Stars, Kiglon and Gunners earned US$7 500 for their efforts.
Teams that failed to skip the first hurdle received an appearance fee of US$5000 each.
Mbada Diamonds also paid for teams’ travel and boarding expenses.
Last year, the sponsors extended a US$150 000 subsidy to Motor Action who were playing in the Caf Confederations Cup, representing the winners of the tournament.
PSL was given US$20 000 for administrative purposes.