THE 2017 edition of the Trukumb Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Top Eight Invitational Tournament roars into life this weekend with $10 000 at stake for the six participating Zifa Southern Region teams and two guest sides.
The tourney, which was launched last year, celebrates the life of the late Vice President Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo who passed away in July 1999.
The cup competition is one of two knock-out tournaments the Zifa Southern Region Division One league has retained together with the John Landa Nkomo Memorial Cup bankrolled by businessman Raj Modi.
But in a strange twist of events 2016 winners ZRP Bulawayo Province will not defend their title after failing to meet strict requirements to take part in the cup competition.
The league bosses invited teams that are of “good financial standing” to take part in the tournament.
Only teams that are fully paid up on affiliation fees got the nod to play in the tourney.
Two guest sides — Bulawayo Provincial Select and Matabeleland North Provincial Select — will join Bulawayo Chiefs, ZPC Hwange, Talen Vision, Black Boots, Casmyn and Indlovu Iyanyathela.
“After deliberations with the sponsors, who highlighted that the importance of this tournament is to give youngsters an opportunity to shine, it was agreed that Bulawayo and Matabeleland North provinces will each field an Under-20 select team.
“Since it’s an invitational tournament, we looked at the teams’ performances in terms of meeting their financial obligations so we decided to reward clubs that had paid their affiliation fees and don’t owe the league anything,” said Bryton Malandule, Zifa Southern Region finance board member.
Winners of the tournament will take home $2 400, with the runners-up getting $1 500. Losing semi-finalists will walk away with $700 each, while teams knocked out in the first round will each pocket $300.
Saturday 11 November
Indlovu Iyanyathela vs Talen Vision Luveve 3PM; Bulawayo Provincial Select vs Black Boots Luveve 12PM; Mat North Provincial Select vs Casmyn Hwange Stadium 12PM; ZPC Hwange vs Bulawayo Chiefs Hwange Stadium 3PM