Giants avoid each other in Top8
LNIG Top8 title holders Bantu must have heaved a sigh of relief after they were drawn against struggling likila United for the quarterfinal of this year’s edition of the annual tournament.
lioli, who won the annual tournament in 2014, also had a relatively easy draw as they were pitted against sundawana, while likhopo were drawn against lcs and LDF versus Matlama in the other quarterfinal fixtures. The draw was conducted at Bambatha Tšita sports arena.
The first legs of the quarterfinal matches take place on 30 and 31 January at different venues, with the return fixtures set for 20-21 February at the same venue.
The semifinals of the tournament are set for 9 April and the final the following day also at setsoto.
Winners of the competition, sponsored by insurance company LNIG, will walk away M100 000 richer—the same amount they pocketed last year.
The runners-up will take home M80 000, while teams that take third and fourth place receive M60 000 and M50 000, respectively. Teams that fail to progress past the quarterfinal stage would receive M30 000.
Just like in 2015, this year’s edition of the tournament would also feature a legends competition for all the participating sides which qualified for the event by virtue of ending last season in the ‘top eight’ on the 14-team premier league table .
speaking at Tuesday’s draw, LNIG Managing Director, lebohang Raletooane, said the company’s relationship with the Premier league Management Committee (PLMC) remained strong, hence the renewal of the sponsorship.
“We are still together with the premier league, which is why we will continue to sponsor this tournament,” Raletooane said.
“We have made a commitment to local football and our goal is still the same, which is to help the game improve.
‘We started sponsoring this tournament in 2014 with a total prize money of M300 000, but the league made a request to increase it to M600 000 last year. We heeded that plea because of the success of the competition.
“There was another plea to increase the money again this year but unfortunately, by the time the request was made, we had already finalised our budgets. However, we will look into the request next year. We are happy with how things have gone so far despite some minor challenges.”
on his part, premier league boss, John leuta, expressed gratitude
for the sponsorship.
“We are very grateful to LNIG for their continued support to football and our clubs, with this competition,” leuta said.
“Part of our responsibility as a league, is to make sure there are competitions for our teams and this is why there could be a fourth competition for our clubs in the near future.
“Nothing has really changed from last year’s competition as it is still sponsored by LNIG to the tune of M600 000 and the winners will still walk away with M100 000.
“all participating clubs are going to be provided with a kit, while those that make it to the semifinals will get another set of uniforms.”
leuta also explained that including a competition for legends in the package was a way of attracting a bigger crowd to the games. The league, he added, was also considering staging the semifinal matches out of Maseru.
LNIG Top8 quarterfinal fixtures at a glance
lcs v likhopo, LDF v Matlama, lioli v sundawana, likila v Bantu
Bantu celebrates after winning last year’s LNIG Top8 tournament.