MASERU — Four premier league big guns, Bantu, Lioli, LDF and LCS will battle it out for the M50 000 first prize money during a two-day Independence Top4 tournament set for Setsoto stadium on October 5 and 6.
The four-team competition was launched at Lancers Inn on Tuesday and is sponsored by two giant companies Metropolitan Lesotho and Standard Lesotho Bank to the tune of M300 000.
Metropolitan Lesotho Managing Director, Nkau Matete, said the two giant companies have joined hands to make the tournament something that the nation will be proud of because it forms part of the country’s Independence celebrations.
“We want the Independence Cup to be something unique that every Mosotho wants to be associated with, as it marks the celebration of our country’s independence,” Matete said.
He said the two companies increased the sponsorship after two successful editions of the competition in the last two years.
“We are very happy with what we saw from the teams and the football fraternity during the last editions of the tournament and we hope that the same discipline will be maintained during this year’s competition.
Matete said the future of the tournament will be determined by the behaviour of the football fraternity as the two companies can only continue to invest in the sport if their reputation is not damaged by hooliganism.
Standard Lesotho Bank Chief executive Committee, Mpho Vumbukani, told the media briefing that their involvement in sponsoring football will help them grow their brand and build a relationship with more Basotho as football is very popular in the country.
“We felt the need to be involved in football particularly the Independence cup,” Vumbukani said.
“The sponsorship gives us an opportunity to build brand affiliation and to get involved in something that is close to the hearts of Basotho.
Lesotho Premier League Chairman, Lebohang Thotanyana, expressed his gratitude to the two companies on behalf of the teams.
He said the increased sponsorship and prize money will help the tournament grow from strength to strength.
“I can guarantee you that we are going to see the best football ever during the tournament,” said Thotanyana.
Thotanyana, who is also the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) second vice president, pleaded with the clubs to maintain good be haviour as was displayed in the last edition of the tournament so that they can continue to attract sponsors.
The draw of the tournament has seen the league champions, Lioli, paired alongside LCS while the competition’s defending champions, Bantu who hope to win it for the third successive year will face LDF in the other semi-final match.
The tournament will be played at Setsoto stadium on Saturday October 5 and the two winners of the semi-finals will face each other in the final the following day.
The sponsorship package also includes a playing kit for all the four teams, trophies and medals.
Independence Top4 tournament prize monies:
Winners: M50 000
Runners-up: M30 000
Third place: M20 000
Fourth place: M15 000