The 2016/17 Mascom Top 8, popularly known as ‘Tse Di Tona’ tournament, was officially launched in Gaborone on Wednesday this week. The tournament that brings both pomp and flair to local football is expected to start on 28th October 2016 at the Francistown Sports Complex.
Teams expected to compete for the P 1.2 million first prize include BDF XI, Miscellaneous, Police XI, defending champions Orapa United, Gaborone United, Jwaneng Galaxy, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers.Delivering his keynote address at the launch, president of the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Negros Kgosietsile said Mascom Top 8 has contributed to the competitiveness of soccer in Botswana. Kgosietsile explained that the tournament has elicited interest in all football stakeholders and has kept the passion burning in the hearts of many Batswana for over five years.
The BNOC boss applauded Mascom for broadening their scope and their involvement in other sports like Volleyball, Cycling, Athletics and horse racing. He noted that long-term commitments with sponsors are essential in achieving the country’ s goal of becoming a great sporting nation the world can be proud of.
He further advised that Botswana Premier League (BPL) and participating clubs should conduct themselves in a manner that will make Mascom proud and want to be associated with Botswana Football Association/BPL for many years to come. Acting Botswana Premier League Chief Executive Officer Thabo Ntshinogang said tickets would be available today (Friday) at Mascom stores.Ntshinogang explained that nine games out of the 13 games to be played would be televised. The first clash will be between Police XI and Township Rollers while Magosi are expected to face off with newbies - Jwaneng Galaxy Stars.
For his part, Mascom CEO Jose Vieira Couceiro welcomed Jwaneng Galaxy to the tournament, “We are happy to welcome Jwaneng Galaxy to their very first Mascom Top 8, it will present us with an opportunity to engage with the people of Jwaneng for the very first time,” he said.He wished the team well and advised that they draw inspiration from the defending champions ‘The Ostriches,’ who won the last year’s tournament in their first appearance. President of Botswana Football Association (BFA), MacLean Letshwiti said they appreciate the magnitude and unwavering commitment of Mascom as the title sponsor.
He said the intention was to restore normalcy to football and promised to deliver better results. “Mascom deserves better, they did not abandon us during our darkest hour, and with that we will deliver,” Letshwiti said.