Newly crowned Carlsberg Cup champions Mighty Be Forward Wanderers will have to sweat blood if they are to repeat their August 29 feat, having been handed tough fixtures during the draw for the K25 million Standard Bank Knock-Out Cup held last night at Standard Bank head office in Lilongwe’s City Centre.
The Nomads, who have been ushered into this year’s edition of the Knock-Out competition by Standard Bank customers through a voting system after finishing on an unfamiliar ninth position during last year’s league season have a tricky military puzzle against another voted side Mafco to solve if they are to join the six seeded quarterfinalists.
The seeded quarterfinalists include defending league champions Big Bullets, Moyale Barracks, Blue Eagles, Civo United, Silver Strikers and Red Lions.
Another battle for the last eight slots will involve Kamuzu Barracks and Dedza Young Soccer, who have also sneaked in via a voting process.
Should Wanderers or the Salima based Soccer Instructors make it to the quarterfinals, they will face another military hurdle in the name of Red Lions. The winner between Kamuzu Barracks and Dedza Young Soccer will meet Civo in the quarterfinals.
Big Bullets, alias The People’s team have been drawn against Moyale Barracks, the soldiers from Kaning’ina in another explosive quarterfinal with struggling central giants Silver Strikers paired against Blue Eagles.
In the semi-finals, winner between Moyale and Bullets will meet the winner between Civo and Kamuzu Barracks/Dedza Young Soccer with Red Lions/Wanderers/Mafco lining up against Silver/Blue Eagles.
According to Football Association of Malawi’s (Fam) competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka, the preliminary play-offs have been slated for September 12/13 with the quarterfinals scheduled for September 27/27. Semi-finals will be played on October 16/17 whereas the final is set to be staged on October 31, 2015.
Much as the first drawn teams are deemed as home teams, Zakazaka stressed that Article 8.1 of the competition’s rules and regulations empowers the organising committee to determine match venues, depending on conditions of the playing venues and other factors.
Chairman of the organising committee and Fam legal advisor Jabar Alide hailed Standard Bank for sponsoring the competition for a 10th season, pledging the organisers would see to it that it should be another incident free competition.
Alide disclosed that the organising committee has decided increase the winner’s prize from K9 million to K10 million while the runner-up is set to walk away K5 million richer. He said semi-finalists will pocket K500,000 each, a decrease from last year’s K1 million and that there will be no prizes for quarterfinalists.
Standard Bank’s head of Information Technology William Nuka said the sponsors were looking forward to another exciting football tournament.
“Standard Bank has been sponsoring this cup for nine years and we are looking forward to an exciting 10th anniversary, which will be full of surprises. It is our sincere hope that all the teams and their fans will conduct themselves in an orderly manner. We do not want violence or hooliganism to be a show-stopper as this would curtail our goal of assisting in the development of football in Malawi,” said Nuka.
The Standard Bank head of IT hailed the bank’s customers for patronising the voting process in large numbers.
The voting outcome was as follows: Be Forward Wanderers 1.045 votes, Mafco 395, Kamuzu Barracks 298, Dedza Young Soccer 253, Airborne Rangers 226, FISD Wizzards 189, Azam Tigers 169, Mzuni 55 and Epac 54.
Below is the full draw for the 2015 edition:
Mafco vs Be Forward Wanderers
Kamuzu Barracks vs Dedza Young Soccer
Civo vs Winner Game 1
Red Lions vs Winner Game 2
Silver vs Blue Eagles
Moyale vs Bullets
Moyale/Bullets vs Civo/KB/Dedza
Red Lions/Wanderers/Mafco vs Silver/Blue EaglesFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :