Richer KFC Champions Cup
CHAMPIONS Barbados Defence Force (BDF) will have a tricky opening encounter against Benfica on March 30 in the rebranded and richer KFC Champions Cup.
During the launch yesterday of the knockout tournament, which involves all league teams, president of the Barbados Football Association (BFA) Randy Harris announced a first prize of $20 000, a two-thirds increase on last year’s $12 000.
The losing finalists will now receive $10 000, up by $4 000 while the team winning the third-place play-off will receive $5 000 and the side coming fourth $3 000.
Marketing coordinator of KFC Shekelia Barrow told journalists at the Barbados Olympic Association headquarters that her company had signed a three-year deal with the BFA worth nearly $75 000.
“KFC thought it prudent to work with the BFA’s new executive with a view to creating a lasting legacy for local football . . .,” she said.
“The vision we have for this competition also speaks directly to the kind of culture that can be created and developed for local football.”
During the 64-team double elimination draw, conducted in the presence of the media, only the ten Premier League teams were chosen in the first phase of the draw with the other teams being drawn in the second stage.
Apart from the BDF/Benfica clash, another interesting game will see newly promoted Premiership side Families First St John Sonnets opposing the star-studded Division 2 team, Rendezvous, who include a number of past and present Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines’ footballers in the feature match at the Wildey AstroTurf on March 31 at 8:30 p.m.
Arch rivals Carlton and Kick Start will also have a showdown in the opening match at 3:30 p.m. as well as Mackeson Brittons Hill and the University of the West Indies at 5:30 p.m.
Pride of Gall Hill will face a former Premier League side, Beverley Hills, while reigning Premiership kings Weymouth Wales will play Wavell on March 30.
Harris said the BFA chose three of the most interesting match-upsto be played at the Wildey AstroTurf on March 31 while the other matches would be played the previous day.
Even though the venues were not officially announced, it was stated that teams listed first will have home advantage depending on the condition of their grounds.
The final of the competition is slated for June 30 and Harris said it was likely to be played at Wildey because of the unavailability of the National Stadium.
He added that the BFA?had plans to “transform the venue and give the public a different view of the Champions Cup this year.”
In Tuesday’s preliminary round of the competition, Rendezvous sent out an early warning by drubbing Wotton 8-0 at Emmerton.
Checker Hall 4, Elite Sports Club 3
Transport Board 2, Police 1
Caribbean United 2, Barbados Fire Service 0
Combined Faith 0, Hoyte Village 1
Phoenix 1, Diamondshire 2
CS United 1, St Matthias 4
Tudor Bridge 3, Victoria 2
Potential Ballers 0 (7), Road View 0 (6) – Ballers won on penalties.
Shilling Square 3, Gemstars 1
Unity Ballers 0 (1), Barbados Soccer Academy 0 (5) – Academy won on penalties.
Deacons 2, Haggatt Hall 1
Eden Stars 4, Melverton 1
St Andrew Lions 0, Welchman Hall 1
Shop Hill 1, Sargeants 3
Hothersal Turning 1, Orange Hill 0
WRBSSC 2, Beverley Hills 3
Sherbourne 1 (4), Wildey and Pine 1 (2) – Sherbourne won on penalties.