By Alvin Madzivanzira
ITS Diamonds time again!
It is that time of the year again when the nation witnesses action in the country’s biggest soccer knockout tournament, the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
The third edition of the Mbada Diamonds Cup gets underway this weekend with seven cities hosting the tournament.
Zvishavane, Kadoma, Mutare, Bulawayo, Triangle, Hwange and Harare will host the first round of matches which will decide the teams that will proceed to the round of eight.
Hefty packages are in the offing for the players and technical team with each stage having a package. The tournament, which has become an important event on the PSL calendar will certainly change the clubs’ bank balances.
Gibbo Stadium in Triangle, will be the hunting ground for the cup holders Dynamos who have clung onto the prestigious Diamonds Cup since its inception two years ago.
They will be playing against Tripple B.
The PSL debutants will have a chance to contend for silverware in the Diamonds Cup for the first time.
Triple B are fighting relegation in the league and have been occupying the lower echelons of the league. They are a dangerous team for Dynamos as they have everything to fight for.
Dynamos will need to avoid a penalty lottery to decide the winner as they were shown the exit in the BancABC Cup by Shabanie Mine through the same.
Elsewhere, Monomotapa who featured in the final against the defending champions Dynamos will be playing in a Harare derby against Harare City at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
Highlanders who are also the favourites clash with Triangle at Barbourfields on Sunday before How Mine lock horns with Black Rhinos at the same venue at 1pm.
Luke Masomere’s Shabanie Mine, currently basking in the glory of the BancABC cup victory, will face Chicken Inn at Mandava Stadium tomorrow.
The miners will need to maintain last Saturday’s form if they are to progress to the next round of eight.
CAPS United travel to Mutare for a date with Motor Action at Sakubva Stadium. United will need to come up with a polished act as they have been performing poorly in the tournament.
Buffaloes and Black Mambas face-off on Saturday at Kadoma’s Rimuka Stadium as the two seek to secure a place in the round of eight.
It will be battle of the miners as Hwange and FC Platinum battle for the next round slot.
FC Platinum seek to correct the Sup8r mistake to reach the final and win their second silverware in the premiership.
The Zvishavane-based outfit have been the better team on the head-to-head statistics in both league and cup games. However, with home advantage, Hwange may surprise the visitors and proceed to the next round of eight.
Prizes on offer include:
l 30 tracksuits, 30 warm-up t-shirts and 30 uniforms for each club.
l US $100 for each of the 18 players selected by each team for each match
l US $150 for each member of the technical team (seven).
l Referees’ fees paid by Mbada Diamonds.
l Sponsor will cater for all food, transport and accommodation expenses.
l US $500 for Player of the Match.
l US $500 for fastest goal of the tournament (should not be an own goal).
l US $1 000 and a trophy for the tournament’s top goal scorer.
l US $1 000 and a trophy for the goalkeeper of the tournament
l US $1 500 and a trophy for player of the tournament
l The most disciplined team will receive $1000 and 30 Mbada Diamonds branded training bibs
Round of 16
US$15 000 per club.
US $30 000 each.
US $45 000.
US $90 000 and 40 silver medals.
US $130 000 and 40 gold medals and US $110 000 subsidy to participate in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederation Cup.
The subsidy covers uniforms, accommodation, tracksuits and travel fares. In the event that that the league winners also win the cup, PSL will guide the sponsor on who benefits.
First Round Fixtures
Caps United vs Motor Action (Sakubva), Chicken Inn vs Shabanie Mine (Mandava), Buffaloes vs Black Mambas (Rimuka).
Dynamos vs Tripple B(Gibbo), Harare City vs Monomotapa (Rufaro), Highlanders vs Triangle (BF), FC Platinum, vs Hwange (Colliery), How Mine vs Black Rhinos (BF).