By Grace Chingoma
The two Premiership clubs that will reach the final of the Mbada Diamonds Cup are set to earn close to US$500 000 in prize money after the giant mining firm upped the stakes in the third edition of the prestigious tournament which was launched in the capital yesterday.
The sponsors have increased the prize money for the winners to US$130 000, adding US$10 000 to last year’s prize money. The 2013 Mbada Diamonds Cup champions are also set to get a subsidy of US$110 000 to participate in the Caf Confederations Cup.
This money will cater for uniforms, accommodation, tracksuits and airfares. The runners up in the 16-team tournament, are set to earn more in prize money, going home with a cheque of US$90 000. It is a big hike from last year’s US$60 000 purse for the losing team in the final.
There has also been an upward variation for all the stages with teams that will reach the semi-finals getting US$45 000 each. The quarter-finalists will receive US$30 000 each. The eight teams to fall by the wayside in the first round will each get a club participation fee of US$15 000.
This year’s edition has also departed from the norm and will see a draw being conducted at every stage of the tournament. The matches would be played over four weekends and a number of matches are set to be broadcast on ZBC and SuperSport.
Yesterday, a draw for the preliminary round was conducted with the top eight teams as of Round 20 of Premiership action going into Group A. They were then randomly paired with the bottom eight who formed Group B.
After this initial round, a draw for the quarter ― finals will be done with teams split into two groups using the criteria of Match One up to Match Eight.
In the semi ― finals, teams will be put into one hat and the first two teams to be picked will be separated. The third team to be picked will play the first team that came out of the hat. The draw conducted yesterday produced a repeat of last year’s draw in many cases.
CAPS United and Motor Action, who clashed again last year, will meet again. The same applies to Buffaloes and Black Mambas.
While Dynamos were drawn against second-from- bottom team Tripple B, it was more of the same tale as last year they were drawn against then bottom-placed team Quelaton.
Mbada Diamonds Corporate Services Executive George Manyaya appealed to PSL to ensure that fans will afford to come and watch the matches.
“We have played our part in trying to cushion clubs by increasing participation fees, food, transport and accommodation in order to benefit the clubs.
“The fans should also benefit from this prestigious tournament and our humble request to the clubs and PSL is for you to consider making gate charges US$1 for all Mbada Diamonds Cup matches countrywide.”
All the teams, as the sponsor has done in all the previous editions, will get 30 tracksuits, 30 warm up T-shirts and 30 uniforms. The 18 players selected by the club for every game will each receive US$150 while the technical team will get US$100.
The man-of-the-match will continue to get US$500 per game while a further US$500 would be given to the player who would have scored the fastest goal of the tournament.
The top goal scorer and goalkeeper of the tournament will pocket US$1 000 while the player of the tournament will receive US$15 000. The most disciplined team will receive US$1 000 and 30 Mbada Diamonds branded bibs.
Warriors and Dynamos fan, Brian “DeMbada” Gowa, will the mascot for the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
Match 1 ― Dynamos v Tripple B; Match 2 ― Harare City v Monomotapa; Match 3 ― Highlanders v Triangle; Match 4 ― CAPS United v Motor Action; Match 5 ― FC Platinum v Hwange; Match 6 ― Chicken Inn v Shabanie; Match 7 ― Buffaloes v Black Mambas; Match 8 – How Mine v Black Rhinos.