The first Kenyan team to check in for the 2019 SportPesa Cup in Tanzania will be AFC Leopards SC. This will happen on Saturday (January 19) according to tournament organisers.
Ingwe, who are the beaten 2017 finalists are scheduled to arrive at the Julius Nyerere International Airport at 10am local time (+3GMT) and will be followed by 2018 SportPesa Shield winners, Kariobangi Sharks expected in the Tanzania capital at 15:15pm for their maiden visit to the country.
Bandari FC from Mombasa will connect to Nairobi where they will board the 11:45pm flight to Dar, arriving in the early hours (1:15am) of Sunday morning. Bandari are the only Kenyan side making their first showing at the eight-team regional invitational tournament.
Two-time champions and current holders Gor Mahia FC will fly to Tanzania in an 11:45pm flight on Sunday night straight from Douala, Cameroon after playing New Star de Doula FC in the second leg of their CAF Confederations Cup group stage play-off.
K’Ogalo edged the first leg of the clash 2-1 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani last Sunday.
The winner of this tournament will lift the gleaming trophy, scoop USD30,000 and get the big opportunity of hosting English Premier League side Everton FC on their second tour to East Africa later this year.
At the same time, the management of National Main Stadium in Dar assured organisers all steps had been taken to make the third edition of the tournament formerly known as SportPesa Super Cup the biggest yet.
In a meeting at the 60,000-seater facility, Stadium Manager Gordon Nsajigwa, declared competitors and fans can look forward to a memorable festival of football.
“All logistical and security measures to make the SportPesa Cup a success are in place and I’m sure all teams and fans will enjoy their stay here,” Nsajigwa assured.
The stadium boss added home and visiting supporters would be allowed to watch their team train at the facility and other grounds designated for practise with security for competitors on training and match days heightened.
Dar giants Simba SC supporters who thronged the National Main Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania for their CAF Champions League group stage clash against JSS of Algeria on Saturday, January 12, 2018. PHOTO/SportPesa News
“We are not taking any chances in our mission to host a wonderful event that will showcase the ability of our nation to stage international competitions,” Nsajigwa emphasised.
Other details that emerged Monday as the final countdown to the January 22 to 27 tournament set off in earnest provisions are in place to ensure all losing quarterfinalists either fly our (Kenya) or check out of their designated hotels on January 24 on the eve of the semis.
Organisers have organised a number of community outreach engagements on January 26 for the benefit of grassroots football.
Leading Bongo Flava (Tanzanian pop music) artistes and the country’s most established acrobatic troupes will be part of the rich entertainment on the menu aimed at turning the 2019 SP Cup into a memorable carnival.
Team will also be allowed to bring extra players and members of the technical bench from the quota of 29 allocated (22 players, seven officials) but at their own expense.
The tournament will be covered live in Kenyan, Tanzanian and Sub Saharan Africa audiences.
Home nation viewers can catch the action as it unfolds from the national stadium on Star Sports TV (available on Continental TV), Star TV (available on Star Times), and national service Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation as well as SuperSport Select.
Radio listeners in Tanzania will tune to Uhuru FM and Highlands FM.
In Kenya, NTV (it will not show the 4.15 pm matches except for the final), K24, national service Kenya Broadcasting Corporation in addition to pay television channels GOtv on SuperSport Select 1 will air the matches.
SportPesa Tanzania will launch road show activations to rally home fans to turn up in numbers on Thursday with screening areas set up around Dar when the tournament stars in partnership with DSTv when the tournament kicks off.
“We are encouraged by the plans in place and this tournament promises a lot for the teams and fans. The working partnership we have seen and the work put in by working teams from Kenya and Tanzania is commendable,” Football Kenya Federation head of international matches, Mike Ouma remarked.
Ouma travelled alongside the advance SportPesa Kenya team last week to access final preparations and will on hand to receive Leopards, Sharks, Bandari and Gor when they land in Dar.