City rivals Civil, Silver drawn together in Airtel Top 8

A quarterfinal pair involving capital city rivals Civil Sporting FC (Civo) and defending champions Silver Strikers was the talk of the night on Thursday, April 19, 2018 as Airtel Malawi in conjunction with Football Association Malawi (Fam) launched the 2018 edition of the Top 8 Cup at a lively ceremony held at Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe.

Unveiling the second edition of Airtel Top 8.-Photo by Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Team representatives showcase match kits.-Photo by Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

The draw for Airtel Top 8.-Photo by Leonard Sharra. Nyasa Times

The setting for the launch.-Photo by Leonard Sharra, Nyasa Times

Apart from the crucial capital city derby, the draw saw Blantyre based heavyweights Nyasa Big Bullets paired against the Moyale Barracks, the Lions of Kaning’ina in another appetizing two-legged quarterfinal fixture.

Last year’s losing finalists and Super League defending champions Mighty Be-Forward Wanderers were drawn against Kamuzu Barracks (KB) with National Police Headquarters outfit Blue Eagles lined up against Salima based Mafco, alias Soccer Instructors.

According to Fam’s head of competitions committee Jabar Alide, all the quarterfinal matches will be played over two legs with the first drawn team starting at home. This means that Bullets, Civo, Blue Eagles and KB will all start at home in the K66 million worth tournament, scheduled to kick off on March 5.

Speaking during the launch, head of Airtel Money Chris Sukasuka said Airtel was thrilled to launch and unpack the Top 8 Season 2, whose theme is ‘Where football lives.’

“Last season we witnessed Football come alive and the fans and the entire football fraternity attested to experiencing just that. Ladies and gentlemen, this time around, the Airtel Top 8 will be Where football lives. This is the theme for this season.

“In this second season, we will be taking the sport of football beyond the stadium. There will be exciting activities in the communities that will see fans living football and winning Top 8 merchandise after participating in street soccer shooting sessions against veteran goalkeepers from the communities,” said Sukasuka.

Sukasuka also disclosed that the Airtel Top 8 best fan- one participating in most Predict and Win Competitions will walk away with K1 million, a remarkable adjustment from last year’s K200,000.

The head of Airtel money further disclosed that the sponsors will offer another K1 million prize to a fan, who will record the best video of himself or herself ‘bending it like Gaba and doing other football stunts. The video will have to be loaded on the entrants’ Twitter, Facebook or Instagram platforms using the hashtag #faceoftop8.

Apart from the K1 million prize, winner of the Face of Top 8 promotion, which runs for a week from today, April 20, 2018 is expected to be featured on all posters and billboards for Season 2 Top 8 as the face of the competition.

Fam second vice president James Mwenda was all thanks to Airtel for living up to its promise to sponsor another tournament this year.

“We at Fam are equally excited with this partnership, which is very healthy for the development of football in Malawi. The Airtel Top 8 competition has not only brought competition amongst the top 8 teams but all the 16 Super League teams because every team wants to finish in the top eight to participate in this prestigious tournament, where the winner walks away with K15 million after playing just four games,” said Mwenda.

Silver Strikers won the first edition of the tournament after defeating Be Forward Wanderers 10-9 in post-match penalties following a goal-less draw in regulation time.

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