Everton Ace Pienaar To Sprinkle Star Dust On 2019 SportPesa Cup

Jan 21 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for SportPesa News

Final battle lines drawn on the eve of Tuesday's kick-off in Dar-es-Salaam as home teams are rallied to snatch the trophy from Kenya

SportPesa Tanzania Director of Administration, Tarimba Abbass addresses the media at the National Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam on January 21, 2018 ahead of the start of the 2019 SportPesa Cup. PHOTO/SPN

  • At a press conference where final battle lines were drawn in the competition that pits four teams from Tanzania against a similar number from neighbours Kenya in a football rivalry that traces its roots to the 1920s
  • He underscored the tournament facilitated by the global gaming giant is targeted at developing football in East Africa, urging Tanzanian sides to take full advantage of opportunities of international exposure it offers to winners
  • In response, the Football Kenya Federation chairman of International Matches, Mark Ouma, noted SP Cup holders Gor, AFC Leopards SC, SportPesa Shield champions Kariobangi Sharks FC as well as newcomers Bandari FC had the pedigree to retain the trophy

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania- Everton FC star Steven Pienaar, will be the chief international guest for the 2019 SportPesa Cup that kicks off on Tuesday at the National Main Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam as organisers gave the event an all clear to start on Monday.

At a press conference where final battle lines were drawn in the competition that pits four teams from Tanzania against a similar number from neighbours Kenya in a football rivalry that traces its roots to the 1920s.

Speaking at press conference on the eve of the kick off third edition, organisers announced Pienaar who is scheduled to arrive on Thursday (January 24) will be involved with Kits for Africa and grassroots football projects besides the tournament.

“As one of the most reputable players from the African continent, the presence of Pienaar in this tournament will be a big motivation to the players and youth he will interact with,” Tarimba Abbas, the SportPesa Tanzania Director of Administration remarked.

Tarimba also declared the tournament was shifted from its original staging in June to give teams from Tanzania and Kenya an equal opportunity to win the trophy.

He rallied the home teams to step up and be counted in the competition having seen Kenyan giants Gor Mahia FC win back to back SP Cup titles in 2017 and 18.

“This time around, we do not wish to be embarrassed, we want you to field the teams who believe in to produce results. We want to see the cream of our teams from Singida United, Mbao FC, Yanga SC and Simba SC,” Abass charged.

He underscored the tournament facilitated by the global gaming giant is targeted at developing football in East Africa, urging Tanzanian sides to take full advantage of opportunities of international exposure it offers to winners.

“It will only be of benefit if there is some seriousness among participating teams. That have assured me that the competing teams take this tournament on a serious note where the winner will be crowned on the talent on the pitch, good football and preparations because the SportPesa has many benefits,” Tarimba rallied.

Tarimba challenged participating home teams- Yanga SC, Simba SC, Singida United FC and debutants Mbao FC- to restore the pride of their nation by delivering a first SP Cup title.

Salum Madadi, the Tanzania Football Federation Technical Director exuded confidence a home side will be crowned the tournament winner on Sunday.

“We welcome our brothers from Kenya but I wish to inform you that Mbao are a threat, leave alone Simba or Yanga. I’m sorry you will get nothing this time,” Madadi quipped.

In response, the Football Kenya Federation chairman of International Matches, Mark Ouma, noted SP Cup holders Gor, AFC Leopards SC, SportPesa Shield champions Kariobangi Sharks FC as well as newcomers Bandari FC had the pedigree to retain the trophy.

“Our teams are not coming here to take any chances. They have represented Kenyans severally in CAF assignments and I can assure you, be ready for good and entertaining football.

“If Tanzanian teams are not ready, the trophy will board Kenya Airways,” Ouma charged.

The first quarter final pitting Singida and Bandari will kick off at 2pm EAT at the National Stadium followed by the tasty encounter between Yanga and Sharks at 4:15pm.