JMN tournament draw today
THE draw for the inaugural Southern Region Division One Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Top Eight tournament will be held at the Zifa regional offices in Bulawayo this evening.
The $10 000 Trukumb Mining Enterprises sponsored football jamboree will run from December 3-10, with eight teams contesting the silverware, although organisers agreed not to include league winners in the event.
“It was all to do with the planned play-offs that had been anticipated and so we agreed that winners of the league will not be part of this tournament because we envisaged the tournament would clash with the promotional play-offs,” said Zifa Southern Region chairman Musa Mandaza.
The eight teams that will go into the hat this evening are league runners-up Bulawayo Chiefs, ZPC Hwange, who will be involved in the John Landa Liquor Hub Top Eight final at Hartsfield tomorrow, Ntabazinduna, Amagagasi, Talen Vision, Black Boots, Indlovu Iyanyathela, Technosphere and ZRP Bulawayo. Concerns had been raised over the omission of league winners, who remain a Division One affiliate until the end of the year. “It’s not that this decision was targeted at Bantu Rovers. It was in our wisdom that we felt our regional winners needed all the time to fully concentrate on the play-offs because we want them to win and be promoted to the Premiership. “All this was reached before we had this promotion and relegation chaos, which is still to be solved by the way,” said Mandaza. He said they had a fruitful meeting with Bantu Rovers’ general manager Wilbert Sibanda on Wednesday where they explained the technicalities of having the champions not participating in the tournament. “We briefed him that all we wanted was to protect our winners; they just had to concentrate on the play-offs,” Mandaza said. Four coaches from the Czech Republic’s top league will grace the tournament.