DEFENDING champions, Lioli, will have to negotiate a tricky semi-final tie against LCS in their quest to retain the Independence Cup they won last year by edging Matlama 1-0.
League champions, Bantu, have an equally tricky clash with Kick4Life in the first semi-final. Both semi-finals will be played on 7 October with the final on the next day.
Tse Nala walked away with M150 000 after winning last year but the winners of this year’s edition will walk away with an improved M200 000 after the sponsors, Standard Lesotho Bank and Metropolitan Lesotho increased the prize money.
The two companies will fork out M520 000 each over the next three years bringing the package to a total of M1, 560 million.
The Independence Cup will commence with the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) project where each of the four teams will receive M15 000 to give to a school or orphanage of their choice.
A Matšo Matebele have chosen Morapeli Disabled Centre for their CSI project and will this Friday donate groceries worth M15 000.
Lioli will donate to St Cecilia Orphanage on 27 September while LCS and Kick4Life will donate to Holy innocent School and Thetsane High School respectively on 29 September.
Speaking at the draw on Tuesday, Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) chairman, John Leuta, said all the stakeholders were looking forward to the competition adding they were confident the teams will live up to expectations of quality entertainment.
“We are all looking forward to the tournament and as the league and sponsors,” Leuta said, adding, “We hope the four teams will live up to expectations by giving the supporters two days of good football”.
“We are also not expecting any trouble and we will provide the rules and regulations to guide the teams during the competition.
“We hope that the teams and their supporters will abide by those rules because want to show our sponsors as they continue to increase their sponsorship that we are also growing as the football fraternity.”
Leuta also reminded the players and match officials to give their best as there would be individual accolades for outstanding performances in each of the games and for the whole tournament.
“We are expecting a good tournament and it is worth reminding the match officials as well as the players about the individual accolades.
“So it is up to the players to give their best performances and for the referees to officiate well their efforts will be rewarded in the end,” he said.
Independence Cup prize money break down:
Winners: M200 000
Third place: M70 000
Fourth place: M50 000
Player of the Tournament: M8000
Top Goal Scorer: M6000
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: M6000
Referee of the Tournament: 4000
Assistant Referees: M2000 (each)