THE sponsors of the country’s richest knockout tournament Mbada Diamonds have pleaded with clubs to reduce gate charges, ahead of the richest tournament’s kick off next week.
By Brian Nkiwane
Speaking at the launch of this year’s edition, Mbada Diamonds Corporate Affairs executive George Manyaya pleaded with PSL leadership and club representatives to spare a thought for football fans and reduce gate charges to US$1 during Mbada Diamonds Cup matches.
Manyaya reiterated that as the sponsors of the cup, they are going to meet all the expenses for the clubs, hence their call for the reduction of gate charges.
“If we are going to do all this for you, why not spare a thought for our football fans and reduce gate charges? We have said that ‘we harness diamonds for the people’, now that you as clubs are benefitting, let the fans benefit too,” Manyaya said.
It was evident from post launch interviews that PSL clubs would keep Mbada waiting for their response on this issue, as the league said there was need to address the matter first.
Speaking to Standardsport after the launch, PSL chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele said they would sit down as a committee and also bring on board clubs to deliberate on the matter and then come back to Mbada with an answer.
“Yes, it is a noble cause, especially to our fans that have been with us in hard times. It would be good to reward them that way but we need to meet clubs first.
PSL chairman Twine Phiri said they would not impose Mbada’s call on clubs.
“It is a very good idea but what we must bear in mind is that clubs have other hidden costs that need to be taken care of. Things have not been going well for most out of our cubs; hence we need to engage them. But we will soon be back with answers before the competitions starts on September 28,” said Phiri.
Most club representatives that graced the launch were pleased with the draw and described it as fair and balanced. The current top eight teams were seeded in Pot A, with the lower eight put in Pot B for the draw.
Meanwhile, venues for the first round of matches will be deliberated on Tuesday.