DEFENDING champions ZESCO United say they are not scared of Kabwe Warriors when the two clash in the Barclays Cup quarter-finals set for September 20 at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium.
According to the draws conducted yesterday at Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka, title holder’s nemesis Zesco will face Warriors, while Power Dynamos take on Green Buffaloes, Zanaco vs Lumwana Radiants while ‘Mighty’ Mufulira Wanderers will face Nkwazi. ZESCO executive committee member Hastings Ndovi after the draws said the team was set to defend the title and was in form to take on any opponent.
“We are a big team and our target is to defend the title. The boys are ready to take on any team. I have no doubt that we will sail through to the semi-finals. We played Kabwe Warriors last year so they are a familiar opponent. The team will continue to prepare adequately for the tournament,” he said.
Warriors coach Mohammed Fathy described the draw as tough saying the match will be a 50/50 affair.
“It will not be an easy game for both sides, it’s a 50/50 affair. But we will put in our level best. It’s a tough draw. Zesco should brace itself for a new Kabwe Warriors. I am happy that we will be playing at a neutral ground. The boys are doing well in the super division and now have to train extra hard,” he said. The two teams met in the 2014 league season with Zesco beating Kabwe Warriors 3-1 but lost at Kabwe Stadium by a lone goal. Meanwhile, Barclays Bank has pumped in K2.2 million towards the hosting of the Barclays Cup. Barclays Bank Zambia managing director Saviour Chibiya said they believe in youth development and sports had a very positive impact in building ones character.
“We have a very young population and hence the need to build a youth with good character. Through sports we have been able to reach out to many youths equipping them with financial skills. This sponsorship package is worth K2.2 million,” he said.
He said the winners will pocket K300,000, runners up will get K150,000, coach of the tournament K10,000, player of the tournament K5,000 and K1,000 to the player of the match.
FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya said the Barclays Cup was a very competitive tournament that had exposed young talent.
“We have seen young talent being identified to the national team level. Our league is a marvel to other countries. I have no doubt that this year’s tournament will be a thriller. I thank you for sponsoring this tournament again,” he said.
The quarter finals will be played on September 19 and 20 at Nkoloma Stadium, the semi-finals are scheduled for October 17 and the finals on November 14.