MTN/FAZ 2015 Super league champions Zesco United and Power Dynamos will renew their Samuel “Zoom” Ndhlovu Charity Shield rivalry when they face off in the semi finals of the 2016 edition on February 20.
The Charity Shield signifies the start of the season and last year, Zesco proved the better of the two when they clashed in the finals which they won 3-1 in a scintillating match played at Nkana stadium in Kitwe.
With the restructured FAZ 2016 Super league promising more excitement and action on the field, the Charity Shield should showcase what to expect from the players this season.
The other semi final encounter in the Charity Shield will draw 2015 league runner up Zanaco taking on fourth placed Green Buffaloes.
FAZ spokesman Nkweto Tembwe confirmed that the season which will kick off with the Charity Shield finals taking place a week earlier on March 5, will commence against a background of the new league structure that has seen division one having four zones and the elite league increasing team number to eighteen from the previous sixteen.
“We are glad to inform you that the super league will kick off on March 12 while Divisions one, two and three will return to action on April 3, 2016. The women league will kick off on May 7. The venues for the Charity Shield will be advised in due course” Tembwe concluded.
In view of the restructured league, only two teams (instead of four) were demoted from the Super League last year.
However, starting this year, four teams will be demoted as was the case before with the winners of each of the four zones being promoted to the super league.
After winning the Shield last year, Zesco Coach George Lwandamina said the competition had helped in identifying weakness in the team as it prepared for continental competition.
Zesco are this year representing the country in the CAF Champions League and have been warming up by competing in a four club tournament they are co-hosting with Zanaco.
The Ndola based side kicks off its continental campaign in the preliminary round, first leg engagement against Al Ghazala of South Sudan at Levy Mwanawasa stadium in Ndola on February 13.
Zanaco on the other hand are on bye and will only return to action in the first round where they await the winner of the preliminary round clash between Harare City of Zimbabwe and AS Adema of Madagascar.
Zesco won the league title on 67 points with Zanaco finishing second on 63 points. Power and Green Buffaloes were third and fourth on 57 and 51 points respectively.