LOGISTICAL challenges have forced the Zifa Southern Region to postpone by a week the $12,000 LG Foods 16-team tournament involving first to third tier league sides which was initially scheduled to kick off today.
The top eight clubs in the Zifa Southern Region Division One Soccer League are battling it out with five teams from the Bulawayo Metropolitan and Matabeleland North Division Twos as well as the top three from Bulawayo’s Division Three in the tournament.
Musa Mandaza, the Zifa Southern Region chairman, said they had to reschedule the LG Foods competition as they wanted to give the sponsor maximum mileage.
“What we want is for the sponsor to enjoy the benefits of bankrolling the tournament. We have been working on some logistics at all chosen centres.
For that reason, the tournament kicks off next weekend,” he said.
Winners of the LG Foods competition will walk away with $2,000 with the losing finalists pocketing $1,500. Teams that are knocked out in the semi-finals will each bank $375.
There are no prizes for quarter-finalists and first round losers.
Part of the sponsorship package will be used to pay referees’ fees which have been a burden for most clubs.
The sponsor also pledged to cater for transport costs of clubs that are in Division Three who will have to travel for their away games. Bulawayo Province’s Division Three table toppers Toronto of Pumula East will be the first beneficiaries as they play their first round match in Victoria Falls against Trumus.
Meanwhile, action in the Zifa Southern Region Division One Soccer League continues with top of the table Black Boots fresh from their away 2-0 win over Trumus hoping to make another stride towards the title when they play host to Old Nic Mine.
Old Nic Mine coached by Twyman Ncube have been unpredictable in the second half of the season and Black Boots can underestimate them at their own peril.
Technosphere are expected to have an easy stroll in the park at home when they entertain Quelaton in Hwange. Technosphere are among title favourites and trail Black Boots by three points with 39 points.
Agent Sawu’s Ntabazinduna make another trip to Hwange to face Hwange Juniors, a week after losing 2-4 to Technosphere at the coalmining town. It is a match that Ntabazinduna are hard pressed to collect maximum points as a defeat will effectively end their championship hopes.
Last year’s champions Plumtree Chiefs also have a tricky away encounter to wounded Mpumalanga FC who lost 0-3 to New West City last weekend.
LG Foods first round draw
BCC Golden Stars v Black Boots (Municipals), Ntabazinduna v Casmyn (Ntabazinduna Prison), Ajax Hotspurs v Technosphere (Bango), Amagagasi v ZPC Hwange (Victoria Falls), Plumtree Chiefs v LG Vultures (Raylton), Trumus v Toronto (Chinotimba), Tsholotsho v Makomo (Tsholotsho), Talen Vision v Hwange Juniors (Nkulumane 12)
Fixtures Zifa Southern Region Division One Soccer League
Today: Tsholotsho FC Elephants FC (Tsholotsho), Black Boots v Old Nic Mine (Fairbridge), Technosphere v Quelaton (Hwange), Portland Cement v Trumus (cancelled), Hwange Juniors v Ntabazinduna (Hwange), Mpumalanga v Plumtree Chiefs (Hwange), ZPC Hwange v New West (Hwange).