Div 1 teams battle in J M Nkomo top 8
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