By MICHAEL MIYOBA
IN a quest to make Zambia’s only cup competition, the ABSA Cup bigger and better, ABSA Bank are contemplating on expanding the competition from featuring eight teams to 16 a source has told the Daily Nation.
The ABSA Cup features six teams from the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Super League and two teams from the National Division one league.
According to a reliable source, ABSA, who are the main sponsors of the competition are holding talks with stakeholders to expand the competition.
The source said ABSA plans to increase the number of participants from the Super League and the National Division League.
If approved, the new competition will also have representation from the Provincial Division One Leagues.
“Every season ABSA Bank ensures that the ABSA Cup is bigger than the last competition. Last year we saw the bank improving the sponsorship package from K4 million to K4.4 million. This year talks are ongoing for the expansion of the competition and at the right time the sponsors will announce to the public,” the source said.
However, ABSA Bank expressed shock over the alleged negotiations which are said to be in their final stage.
ABSA Bank Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations Mato Shimabale said ABSA will follow up on the suggestions before issuing a statement.
Meanwhile, with only one round of fixtures remaining to conclude the first round of the 2023/2024 soccer season, only three team have secured qualification for the competition set to take play in May 2024.
League leaders Zesco United and High Flying Nkwazi FC are the two sides guaranteed to compete in the ABSA Cup while Nchanga Rangers is the only side guaranteed to compete as they dominate the National Division One league.
Nkwazi are fortunate because third-placed Red Arrows will host eighth placed-Mutondo Stars with only one team set to qualify between the two sides while FC Muza will take on Kabwe Warriors and only one team between the two sides will qualify for the ABSA Cup.