NAIROBI, Kenya- The 11th edition of the annual SportPesa Super 8 Soccer Tournament that kicks off on Saturday has attracted 58 teams from eight regions of the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Promotion to the SportPesa Super 8 League is at stake and all teams are ready to give it their all in-order to finish among the top three.
Spearheaded by the tagline Wakilisha Mtaa Yako (represent your estate), which is a rallying call meant to bring fans back to the stadium to support local talent, Super 8 brings together teams from the Eastern and Western sides of Nairobi to battle for top honours.
The SportPesa Super 8 League comprises of two tiers; namely the SportPesa Super 8 Premier League and the SportPesa Super 8 Division One League.
In addition to promotion, the winner will also pocket KSh100,000 from the organisers Extreme Sports in conjuction with leading gaming firm, SportPesa, who are the title partners of the event.
The second-placed team will pocket KSh50,000 with the third finishers taking home KSh25,000.
The tournament’s aim is to build, nurture and reward talent amongst the youth, in a bid to tackle unemployment challenge that stands at 70 percent besides keeping them out of social vices such as crime, violence, drug and substance abuse.
“We expect a very tough competition this season bearing in mind there are only a few slots up for promotion.
“We are overwhelmed by the number of teams who have showed interest in joining the league but unfortunately it’s only the top four teams eligible to join our Premier League.
“Our objective is unlocking new talent at the grassroots which we have been doing since 2005 and this year, we expect to uplift more of these young stars to encourage healthy competition. We urge fans to come out in numbers to support their hoods,” Extreme Sports Head of Coordination and Operations; Athanas Obala Obango stated.
Last season, River of God (ROG FC) from the East Conference bagged the title edition after outclassing West Conference’s Real Mathare 5-2 in front of a record attendance during heated finals played at the 30,000-capacity Nyayo Stadium.
Eastern conference sides will be drawn from Embakasi, Makadara, Kasarani and Kamukunji while their Western rivals hail from Westlands, Starehe, Dagoretti and Langata.
Similar to last season, Dagoretti leads with the highest number of participating teams having registered 13 clubs.
Westlands and Kasarani have nine representatives each while Makadara and Kamukunji have registered eight. Starehe, Langata and Embakasi have four teams.
The Super 8 tournament was recently recognised at the 2017 Discovery Sports Industry Awards (DSIA) where title partners SportPesa won the Best African Sponsorship for their commendable support of the championship.
Harambee Stars U17 winger Zidane Ochieng is the latest among a horde of other respectable players to have been discovered at the tournament including Gor Mahia FC duo of Jeconiah Uyoga and Maqbul Mohammed.