The NetOne Charity Shield will for the second year running open the 2012 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.
PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele yesterday confirmed sponsors, NetOne had assured them they would fulfil the contract they signed with the league last season.
NetOne, one of the country’s three mobile network operators, last year unveiled a $200 000 sponsorship package for competition which now acts as a season opener.
“Nothing has changed from last year,” said Ndebele.
“We will have the NetOne Charity Shield sometime early next March to kick off our season. We haven’t come up with our league programme as yet, but we are planning to start it in March. We haven’t received any request from another sponsor for any pre-season competition. So far we have the Charity Shield only,” added Ndebele.
Only two teams, Dynamos and then league champions Motor Action, took part in the competition with DeMbare winning the match after a penalty shoot-out. The match had ended 2-2.
Dynamos received $40 000 for winning the cup while the Mighty Bulls were given a $20 000 consolation.
Ndebele said his executive had not yet decided on the teams that will take part in this year’s edition of the competition.
The NetOne charity Shield becomes the second pre-season tournament to have been confirmed after the organisers of the Bob 87 Super Cup this week announced their tournament is on.
This year’s edition of the competition, which will be staged in February, will feature defending champions Dynamos, league runners-up FC Platinum, third-placed Motor Action and Hwange who finished last season in fourth place.
Dynamos will start their cup defence with a clash against Hwange in Bulawayo’s Barbourfields Stadium while Motor Action will meet FC Platinum at Sakubva Stadium in the second semi-final.
The competition will be good news for participating teams, who will be fine tuning their squads for the Caf Champions League and the Caf Confederations Cup.
Dynamos and FC Platinum will compete in the champions league while Motor Action and Hwange take part in the Confederations Cup.
FC Platinum, who will be making their debut appearance in the continental competition, have been drawn against Swaziland champions Green Mamba in the preliminary round.
The first leg will be played in Mbabane on the weekend of February 17-19 and the reverse fixture in Zvishavane two weeks later.
Dynamos, who were given a bye in the preliminary round, will be waiting to play the winner between Mafunzo of Zanzibar and Mozambique’s Liga Muculmana de Maputo in March.
Motor Action will make a short trip across Limpopo to meet Black Leopards — formerly coached by Sunday Chidzambwa — in the preliminary round. The Mighty Bulls travel on the weekend of February 17-19 and will host Lidoda Duvha in Harare two weeks later.
Hwange will also start their African Safari campaign away to Zanzibar’s Jamhuri on the same weekend Motor Action travels to South Africa, and the return leg will be in Colliery a fortnight later.