4 clubs to fight for M150k Independence jackpot

4 clubs to fight for M150k Independence jackpot

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – The Vodacom Premier League together with sponsors Metropolitan Lesotho and Standard Lesotho Bank yesterday launched the 2016 edition of Lesotho’s oldest cup competition, the Independence Cup.

The annual four-team showpiece will be staged on October 22 and 23 and it will be a special one as it will celebrate Lesotho’s 50th year of independence.

Speaking at the competition’s launch, the tournament’s sponsors said they wanted to specially mark the milestone and have increased prize money by M50 000.

Individual awards have also been reviewed.

Thanks to the boon, this year’s contestants Lioli, Matlama, Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) and Sundawana will fight for a M150 000 winner’s jackpot.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch, Metropolitan representative Nkau Matete said the increase in prize money will spice up the battle for the championship which was first held in 1976 and then refurbished under Metropolitan and Standard Bank in 2011.

“This is the sixth edition of the Independence Cup since we started in 2011, and this year’s edition will recognise the 50th (independence) anniversary that the country is celebrating,” Matete said.

“We sat down and discussed on how we can be part of this big milestone and we decided that this year we will increase the prize money by M50 000, and there will also be individual awards and commemorative trophies. The prize money has increased and this presents a challenge for the winner, now every team will want to win,” he added.

This year’s edition is also set to have a charitable element.

Premier league chairman Leuta Leuta said each of the four teams have been allocated M10 000 to spend on any community activity of their choice.

“This year we will be giving back to the community, together with the teams, (Lesotho Football Association) and the sponsors,” Leuta said.

“Each team will guide us on how they want to give back and we have a budget for that, each team has been allocated M10 000. Whether they want to paint a school, donate to an orphanage or anything else, it’s their choice; we will be guided by the teams.”

Leuta added: “I would like to thank the sponsors and I hope we continue working together. As we all know, the country will have a big jubilee and we want to be part of that. By giving back to the community will also show the sponsor that we are responsible and we are not heartless.”

Leuta said the premier league, LEFA and the tournament’s sponsors are planning to visit Sundawana’s hometown of Butha-Buthe on September 30 as part of the drive.

The following week, on October 5, they will be in Teyateyaneng with Lioli before moving to Maseru on October 7 to visit with Matlama and LCS.

The Independence Cup format, though, will remain the same; the two semi-finals will be played on October 22 with the finals held the next day.

League champions Lioli will meet Sundawana as the Butha-Buthe side finished fourth last season, while 2015/16 league runners-up Matlama will meet the third-placed finishers, LCS.

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