SportPesa Cup 2019 Final Scheduled For 3:30pm Kick-Off

Jan 11 - by Mutwiri Mutuota for sportpesa news

Organisers announce teams will be allowed to enlist 22 players for the first times as preparations for regional showpiece enter final stretch

Gor Mahia FC parade the SportPesa Cup trophy in front of their fans on June 10, 2018 at the Afraha Stadium, Nakuru following their 2-0 victory in the final against Simba SC. PHOTO/File

  • The showpiece match of the tournament organised by leading bookmakers SportPesa will be preceded by the third place play-off featuring the losing semi finalists at the same venue starting at 1:30pm
  • The organising teams toured hotels earmarked to accommodate the eight teams taking part over the two days as other plans including security; officiating, media and technical were tightened
  • The winners of the first and third quarters will play the first semi with the other  featuring the successful teams from quarters two and four

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania- The 2019 SportPesa Cup final will kick off at 3:30pm local time (+3GMT) on January 27 at the National Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania organisers announced Friday as preparations for the third edition of the knockout regional tournament entered the final stretch.

The showpiece match of the tournament organised by leading bookmakers SportPesa will be preceded by the third place play-off featuring the losing semi finalists at the same venue starting at 1:30pm.

All quarter and semi final fixtures will kick off at 2pm and 4:15pm at the 60,000-seater sporting amphitheatre that is the National Stadium in Dar. Two last eight ties will open the competition on January 22 and two more played the following day. 

Both semis will be played on January 25 ahead of the bronze and gold medal matches two days later.

The eight participating teams have now been allowed for the first time to bring in 22 players up from 20 at their request bringing the contingent that also includes technical and club officials to 29 from each side.

The tournament will be handled by 10 visiting referees- five each from Burundi and Malawi- with four Tanzanian match officials joining the team in the competition where in case of a stalemate, only the final will go to extra time and penalties if required to separate the teams.  

Quarter and semi final fixtures that end in draws will be decided by a straight shootout after the final whistle.

Speaking in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) media and communications officer Clifford Dimbo, declared all systems were in place as Tanzania hosts the second SP Cup after staging the inaugural competition in 2018.

“We believe this edition will be different and even bigger than the previous two editions. 

Point man

“Elaborate plans have been set in place to guarantee security for teams and fans, access to the stadium and this SP Cup will serve as an example for other tournaments in Africa,” Dimbo held.

He added organisers had learnt lessons from the challenges they faced in 2017 when the first running of the eight-team tourney featuring four teams each from Kenya and Tanzania was held.

“When everything starts, there are many issues arising but having studied what happened in the first edition here and the second in Kenya, we have devised ways to make this SP Cup the best yet,” Dimbo added.

As the rundown to the January 22 kick off continues, a SportPesa team from Nairobi joined their counterparts in Tanzania to ensure preparations rolls off seamlessly.

On Thursday, the working committees sat to fine tune presentations to the International Match Organising Committee (IMOC) that sat on Friday.

The organising teams toured hotels earmarked to accommodate the eight teams taking part over the two days as other plans including security; officiating, media and technical were tightened.

Nairobi Football Kenya Federation chairman, Mike Ouma, is representing his country’s governing body with TFF Competitions Director, Salum Madadi the point man in Tanzania.

Vodacom Premier League champions, Simba SC, record winners Yanga SC, Singida United FC and first timers Mbao FC are the teams aiming at ensuring the USD30,000 winners’ cash prize trophy is lifted by a Tanzanian team for the first time.

Two-time champions Gor Mahia FC, SportPesa Shield winners, Kariobangi Sharks FC, AFC Leopards SC and debutants Bandari FC will fly the Kenyan flag at the tournament. 

The 2019 SP Cup winners will also get the enticing opportunity to host nine-time English league titleholders, Everton FC on their second tour to East Africa later in the year.

The Blues beat Gor 2-1 at the National Stadium in 2017 before the sides again met again last November at Goodison Park, Liverpool where Marco Silva’s charges ran out 4-0 winners. 

SportPesa Premier League runner-ups from last season, Bandari FC will kick off the tournament with the testing first quarterfinal when they take on local side Singida United FC.

Dar heavyweights, Yanga SC will then entertain Sharks in the second encounter of day one. Holders Gor will launch the defence of their crown on Day 2 with the third quarter against Mbao before home favourites Simba lock horns with Leopards with the highlight clash of the last eight.

The winners of the first and third quarters will play the first semi with the other  featuring the successful teams from quarters two and four.

SportPesa Cup 2019 fixture schedule

Quarters

January 22

Q1. Singida United FC vs Bandari FC- 2pm

Q2. Yanga SC vs Kariobangi Sharks FC- 4:15pm

January 23

Q3. Mbao FC vs Gor Mahia FC- 2pm

Q4. Simba SC vs AFC Leopards SC-4:15pm

Semis

January 25

SF 1: Winner Q1 vs Winner Q3- 2pm

SF 2: Winner Q2 vs Winner Q4-4:15pm

January 27

Third-place play off- 1:30pm

Final- 4: 3:30pm