Div 1 teams bat­tle in J M Nkomo top 8

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sport Re­porter

THE in­au­gu­ral Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Top Eight tour­na­ment has set in mo­tion a nail-bit­ing fin­ish to the Zifa South­ern Re­gion Di­vi­sion One League, with four mid-ta­ble teams com­pet­ing for the two re­main­ing slots.

Log lead­ers Bu­l­awayo Chiefs, Bantu Rovers, Ama­ga­gasi, ZPC Hwange, ZRP Bu­l­awayo and Talen Vi­sion are guar­an­teed of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the $10 000 Trukumb Min­ing En­ter­prises spon­sored end of sea­son tour­na­ment that will run from De­cem­ber 3-10.

The four mid-ta­ble teams still hop­ing to win their re­spec­tive matches on the last day of the sea­son are sev­enth-placed Black Boots and Indlovu Iyany­athela, who are both tied on 37 points, Tech­no­sphere on 36 points and Vic­to­ria Falls Tigers (35).

Bosso 90 stand in the way of Indlovu Iyany­athela, who they play host to at Lu­veve Sta­dium on Satur­day, with Black Boots on the road to Turk Mine where they will face Cas­myn, while Tech­no­sphere are home to Talen Vi­sion in Hwange.

Tigers take on Hwange Ju­niors in Vic­to­ria Falls on Sun­day in a match that could be a dead rub­ber for Tigers should any of the three teams vy­ing for the two slots win on Satur­day.

Speak­ing at the launch of the tour­na­ment at a colour­ful cer­e­mony at a Bu­l­awayo ho­tel last night, Trukumb’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sa­belo Mpofu said his com­pany, which also bankrolls Talen Vi­sion, hopes to turn the com­pe­ti­tion into an an­nual event.

“We are firm be­liev­ers in sport, par­tic­u­larly soc­cer be­ing a tool which pro­motes one­ness and uni­fies peo­ple. As a com­pany, it is our de­sire to see play­ers earn­ing an hon­est liv­ing through soc­cer and that is why we want to recog­nise and hon­our teams as well as play­ers who did well this sea­son.

“It is our wish to have this event, as our way of pay­ing back to the com­mu­nity, held an­nu­ally,” said Mpofu.

Win­ners of the tour­na­ment will get $2 400, with the los­ing fi­nal­ists pock­et­ing $1 500. Los­ing semi-fi­nal­ists are set to walk away with $700 each. Teams knocked out in the first round will get $300 each.

The rest of the pack­age will be used to pay match of­fi­cials and hire sta­dia.

Zifa vice-pres­i­dent Omega Sibanda thanked Trukumb for bankrolling the com­pe­ti­tion and ap­pealed to the spon­sors to con­sider in­creas­ing the num­ber of teams next year.

“This is a wel­come de­vel­op­ment by Trukumb Min­ing En­ter­prise and we hope this part­ner­ship they’ve es­tab­lished with the South­ern Re­gion will con­tinue for years to come.

“I’ve no doubt that ev­ery cent of this pack­age will be ac­counted for and will be used for its in­tended pur­pose. My only ap­peal is, may you con­sider in­volv­ing all the teams in next year’s edi­tion,” Sibanda said. — @ZililoR

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