Bandari, Singida To Get 2019 SportPesa Cup Underway In Dar

Jan 07 - by SPN Correspondent for SportPesa News

Tanzania federation boss tips home side to end the reign of two-time champions Gor from Kenya in the eight team knockout tournament that runs from January 22 to 27

Bandari FC captain, Felly Mulumba, during their training session on Friday in Mombasa ahead of their SportPesa Premier League opening fixture against defending champions, Gor Mahia FC, at Mbaraki Stadium on Saturday, December 8, 2018.PHOTO/SPN

  • The Dockers who finished runner-ups in the 2018 SportPesa Premier League are among three teams making their maiden appearances in the third edition of the annual eight-team regional knockout tournament that returns to Tanzania following its inaugural running in 2017
  • It will be the second sojourn for Bandari outside the country in their history after featuring in the 2016 CAF Confederations Cup where their run ended in the preliminary round with a 1-3 defeat on aggregate at the hands of St. Eloi Lupopo of the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Two-time tournament winners, Gor Mahia FC will launch their assault for a third successive crown on January 23 against first timers Mbao FC at 2pm before the highlight clash of the quarterfinal round featuring last year’s beaten finalists Simba SC and Kenyan heavyweights, AFC Leopards SC

NAIROBI, Kenya- Debutants Bandari FC and Tanzanian outfit Singida United FC will get the 2019 SportPesa Cup underway when they clash in the opening fixture scheduled for the National Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam on January 22.

The Dockers who finished runner-ups in the 2018 SportPesa Premier League are among three teams making their maiden appearances in the third edition of the annual eight-team regional knockout tournament that returns to Tanzania following its inaugural running in 2017.

“We are ready for any team and welcome the draw. It will be an exciting adventure for us to prove what we are capable of doing outside the country,” Bandari CEO Edward Oduor said Monday following the release of the draw.

It will be the second sojourn for Bandari outside the country in their history after featuring in the 2016 CAF Confederations Cup where their run ended in the preliminary round with a 1-3 defeat on aggregate at the hands of St. Eloi Lupopo of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They had qualified after lifting the 2015 Kenyan domestic cup now re-branded as SportPesa Shield. 

In fixtures released by tournament organiser and gaming giant SportPesa, Dar es Salaam based Yanga SC will lock horns with SportPesa Shield winners Kariobangi Sharks FC at 4.15 pm EAT (+3GMT) in the second fixture of the opening day of the tournament that will run until January 27.

Highlight clash

Two-time tournament winners, Gor Mahia FC will launch their assault for a third successive crown on January 23 against first timers Mbao FC at 2pm before the highlight clash of the quarterfinal round featuring last year’s beaten finalists Simba SC and Kenyan heavyweights, AFC Leopards SC.

The semi-finals will be played on January 25 while the third place playoff match will be staged on the final day at 2 p.m according to organisers.

Tanzania Football Federation (TFF)’s competitions manager, Salum Madadi, at the same time assured preparations for the tournament are complete as he tipped a home side to end Gor’s reign as champions.

 “This year’s competition is not one to be missed by all local football fans. We are confident that our teams will perform well and ensure that the tournament cup remains here at home,” the TFF official underscored.

The winner of the tournament will have the privilege to host English Premier League club Everton FC in their home country for a friendly besides earning USD30,000 in prize money. 

This will be the second time Everton will visit East Africa after their first tour of Tanzania in 2017 where they played a friendly with Gor, with the English side prevailing 2-1 at the National Stadium in Dar.

“Based on these fixtures we are in for an exciting football week. I urge fans, sports lovers and families to turn up in large numbers at the stadium to support growth of regional football,” said SportPesa’s Chief Marketing officer Kelvin Twissa.

The tournament has been hailed as a platform to showcase the talent of local players with former Gor star duo, Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere and Uganda international, Godfrey Walusimbi earning lucrative moves to Simba and South Africa titans Kaizer Chiefs following their impressive displays at last year’s edition in Nakuru.

Gor retained the title of the competition formerly known as SportPesa Super Cup when they humbled Simba 2-0 at Afraha Stadium on June 10 having trounced domestic arch rivals Leopards 3-0 to lift the trophy in the first tournament in Dar.