| September 13, 2013

A replica of what is an annual event in Spanish and English soccer once again takes centre stage at the University of Botswana Stadium tonight.

League champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs take on Mascom Top 8 champions Gaborone United in the second edition of the Super Cup that traditionally features champions of a football association’s major cup and winners of the country’s elite league.

The first edition of the Super Cup was played last season in January between the same teams, although at the time United were in the competition by virtue of winning the Coca-Cola Cup. With the just-ended season running without a major football association cup in the mould of the defunct Coca-Cola Cup, the Mascom Top 8 was used to determine entrants of tonite’s edition. Identifying a suitable date for this season’s Super Cup has been a headache for the organizers as the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the Premier League for a long time could not agree on the start of the league. With the two teams looking to make the competition a pre-season feature that comes before the start of the league, they had no choice but to squeeze the game for today. The ideal day for the match would have been this past Saturday and Sunday as the league campaign begins this Friday, but the FIFA week for official international matches also began this past weekend and concluded yesterday.

In England, a similar competition serves as a prelude to the league, and is played on the last Sunday before the league begins on the following Saturday. Aptly christened the Charity Shield, proceeds raised from the English Premier League’s version of the Super Cup are meant for charitable initiatives. United’s Treasurer Kagiso Rantswaneng says now that the BFA have warmed up to this Super Cup idea they pioneered last season, they hope to have a permanent day set for it annually – preferably a week before the start of the league.

“In January we took advantage of the break occasioned by the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa; but now that the league has started late, we doubt there will be time to play around the same period. The next time the cup is played, it will feature any other clubs, as long as they would have won the major cup and the league,” he stated.

ZAC Construction, a local civil and mechanical engineering company that used to be United’s shirt sponsor, has stepped in to sponsor the Super Cup to a tune of P200 000. The first edition had no sponsor, but this time the winner will walk away with P100 000, the loser consoled with P50 000. The rest of the money is reserved for administration costs such as paying the stadium fee, buying team uniforms, paying match officials and other similar operational costs. P10 000 will be awarded to the best player from the duel.

In line with keeping to the English Premier League standards for the similar competition concept, the organizers have agreed to reserve 30 percent of the game’s gate-takings for a charitable cause, with the SOS Village in Serowe the intended recipients. The game starts at 7pm tonight and according to Chiefs’ Interim General Manager Leviet Ntwaagae, tickets that will go for P30 all round, are on sale at the offices of both clubs, as well as in Mochudi.

Category: Sports

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