Tough Top 8 draw for Lioli, Matlama
DEFENDING champions, Lioli, have been handed a tough assignment in this year’s edition of the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 tournament after being drawn against LCS during the draw held at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena on Tuesday.
Matlama have been pitted against LDF while Bantu will face Qoaling Highlanders, with last year’s finalists, Linare, taking on Likhopo in the quarterfinal to be played on 24 and 25 January 2015.
Tse Nala won the competition last year beating Linare 3-0 in the final played at Setsoto Stadium. They will begin the defence of their title away to LCS, with the reverse fixture set for a fortnight later.
Defending league champions, Bantu, seem to have it easier as they will host struggling Qoaling Highlanders in the first leg match in Mafeteng on 24 January.
The second leg matches will take place on 14 and d 15 F Februaryb withith th the final semifinals and final set for March.
Speaking during the draw, LNIG General Manager, Tumelo Kepa, said he is confident this year’s edition would be a success and that football would be the winner at the end of the tournament.
“We, as LNIG, are happy to join hands with the football community through this competition,” Kepa said.
“We expect to see the transparency needed for the tournament to be a success just like last season.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) chairman, John Leuta, said, as the league governing body, they were excited that the competition is bigger and better this year following the increased sponsorship by the insurance group.
“I wish to thank LNIG for injecting more money in their sponsorship of the competition,” Leuta said.
“Considering this is their first year since coming on board as sponsors of the tournament, they have already put substantial amounts with the first prize having been increased from M40 000 to M100 000.”
He said preparations were already at an advanced stage to ensure the competition was well organised.
“We are putting everything in place to make sure the competition runs smoothly,” said Leuta.
The winners of the competition will walk away with M100 000, runners up M80 000, third place M60 000, fourth M50 000 while the team that will be knocked out at the quarterfinal stage will get M30 000.
LNIG quarterfinal fixtures
Saturday 24 January FC Likhopo v Linare Bantu v Qoaling Highlanders
Sunday 25 January LCS v Lioli. LDF v Matlama