Sportpesa shield cup defending champions Kariobangi Sharks will start their title defense against Elimu FC on March 16.
Speaking on Thursday during the drawing of team fixtures, Sportpesa Chief Marketing Officer (SCMO), Kelvin Twissa said that the competitions would kick off from 16th and 17th of March this year and finals would be played on 1st June 2019 during the Madaraka day.
“Since the inception of this competition in 1956-then known as FA cup of Kenya, we have seen more than 18 teams win the trophy. This competition allows wider range of football to showcase their talent. As a company, we will continue to focus on football and reward those who are able to win the trophy,” highlighted Twissa.
Twissa explained that this season, the Sportpesa shield would start at round of 32 as opposed to their norm round of 64 since Federation International of Football Association (FIFA) and Confederation of African Football (CAF) were changing their calendar and countries were getting into international best practiced calendar.
The FKF CEO, Robert Muthome stated that because it was a short season, new players have been given an opportunity to be seen in the league and that Sportpesa shield gives the team that wins an entry qualification to play in the CAF confederation Cup and the stakes have increased over the last two years since 2017.
“Today marks the launch of another edition of the Sportpesa shield which is our country’s premier cup event. The teams that win this ‘cup’ locally get to test themselves against some of Africa’s best sides like Asante Kotoko of Ghana which we hosted last year and therefore we are thrilled to have Sportpesa on board again,” said Muthome.
He added that every qualification at the Confederation Cup brings not only financial rewards to the club but also raises the value of our local league and local competition, therefore it was important for the teams that played in the Sportpesa shield to have their eyes on the ultimate prize which is to win that slot to represent the country.
He stated that FKF was looking at more ways to support their clubs play at continental level through engagement with the ministry to ensure that teams were able to travel and their budgets were submitted early to make sure that Kenyan football grows to the next level.
By Lenard Lubanga/Sharon Lucy