THE 2014 edition of the Mbada Diamonds Cup will have only four participating clubs and the sponsorship package has been drastically reviewed downwards to $250 000, B-Metro Sport has learnt.A�Since its inception in 2011, the tournament has involved all 16 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clubs. A well placed source told this publication that in a letter dated 19 September addressed to all Premiership sides chairpersons by PSL, it was revealed that 12 clubs will not be involved in the tournament but will receive grants for none participating.
a�?PSL recently wrote to all PSL clubs asking for their input with regards to the fact that the 2014 edition of the Mbada Diamonds Cup is set to have four participating teams. In the letter it was also stated that the cupa��s sponsorship package has been reduced to $250 000 and 12 clubs will receive grants, whose amounts were not released, for none participating,a�? said the source.
a�?The letter was, however, silent on the prizes that will be given to the four teams and on the criteria that is going to be used to pick the clubs that are going to participate. It was also silent on the amount the 12 other clubs are going to get as their grants for none participating. Clubs have been asking questions with regards to that,a�? said the source.
In the inaugural TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup that was sponsored to the tune of $130 000, 14 clubs each received $3 000 for none participation while the winners Dynamos got $60 000. Highlanders went home with $50 000 after falling 4-1 at the hands of their old nemesis.
PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele was on record confirming to our sister paper Chronicle on Thursday that the Mbada Diamonds Cup will have a reduced sponsorship package under a new format.
a�?The Mbada Diamonds Cup is on and we have engaged both the sponsor and PSL board members on the tentative date. We appreciate that our commercial partnersa�� budgets are compressed . . . The clubs are aware about the change of format of the competition and the reduction of the budget that we have to run the competition with. I am not at liberty to divulge the amount involved but even clubs that will not participate in the competition will benefit from the money set aside for the competition,a�? Ndebele was quoted as saying.
Last yeara��s edition of the Mbada Diamonds Cup was sponsored to the tune of $1million. By lifting last yeara��s richest football tournament in the country, Highlanders went away with $130 000 with losing finalists How Mine who went down 3-0 getting $90 000. How Mine also got a $110 000 subsidy from Mbada Diamonds for their Caf Confederation Cup participation.Clubs that were knocked out in the first round were rewarded with $15 000 each, with losing quarter finalists receiving $30 000 while those booted out in the semi-finals pocketed $45 000.
The Mbada Diamonds Cup started in 2011 with Dynamos winning the first two editions before Bosso won the cup last year.
Winners of the Mbada Diamonds Cup have gone on to represent the country in the Caf Orange Confederations Cup. However, with the sponsorship and participants now reduced, it means that winners of the Chibuku Super Cup are now most likely to proceed to the continental competition for teams that win the biggest knock out competition in their respective countries.