“O tlaa bo ole kae re ja 1 Metre?”
This witty punch line by the Mascom Chief Executive (CEO) Jose Couceiro will bear much meaning to either one of the local football giants, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers as they face off during the preliminary knockoff rounds of this year’s Mascom Top 8 tournament.
Thanks to the automatic match off that sees the league champions play against the team that came eighth, fate will seem harsh on both giants as either of them will be left to answer the Mascom CEO’s witty rhetoric. However, with more money being pumped into the tournament, all will not be lost for the two giants as the loser in the first round will walk away with P150 000 after only two games played.
The amount is a markup of at least P25 000 from last year’s amount which the first round losers got.
Regarded as the most lucrative cup tournament in the country, the Mascom Top 8 sees the winner walk away P1 million richer after just five games.
The incentive will be much better for teams passing into the next stage however as they will each pocket P250 000, an increase of P50 000 from last year’s amount while the runners’ up will be rewarded with P450 000 for their efforts, also a P50 000 increase.
Officially launching the games, Couceiro said with the first two editions of the tournament a huge success, Mascom is looking forward to an even bigger and better season of the tournament popularly known as “Tse Di Tona” (The Big Ones).
Meanwhile, in another new twist to the games, the games’ organizers have decided to take the games to the people in the Northern zone of the country. Unlike in the past year when all games were played in the Southern part, this year’s opening games between ECCO City Greens and Gaborone United on November 2 as well as the November 3 clash between Nico United and Top 8 debutants Extension Gunners will be played at Francistown and Selibe Phikwe respectively.
In another major shift from last year’s games, the Botswana Premier League has decided to do away with the idea of giving participating teams appearance fees for the games.
BPL CEO Bennett Mamelodi said the shift came after the arrangement failed to work as the BPL had hoped.
Under the arrangement, the teams were required to forfeit gate takings to be done by the BPL while the BPL on the other hand paid team appearance fees from its own coffers.
For this year’s edition, home teams will take 80 percent of the gate profits while the Premiere League will be entitled to 20 percent. The BPL CEO however said as with last year’s edition, away teams will be provided with transport and accommodation.