With the exception of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Hi-Star and Winners Connection, the other competing teams all gathered at the 704 Sports Bar yesterday for their team briefing and release of the official fixtures for the 25th Kashif and Shanghai Football Tournament.
Georgetown Football Club (GFC) will clash with Den Amstel while Riddim Squad faceoff against New Amsterdam United on the tournament’s opening day on March 20 at the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) Ground.
When the competition continues on Saturday March 21 at the Victoria Community Centre Ground, two- time champions Fruta Conquerors (2002 & 2004) will play Mahaica Determinators and 2008 winners Pele comes up against Grove Hi-Tech.
On day three at the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Ground GDF plays Winners Connection and 2009 Champions Western Tigers will collide with Hi-Stars.
The final first round matches in the ‘win or go home’ formatted tournament will see Guyana’s number one club Alpha ‘The Hammer’ United playing new comers Agricola Red Triangle and ‘West Side’ Champions Slingerz FC, who themselves are playing in their first Kashif and Shanghai tournament, features against 2001 Champions Victoria Kings at the DCC Ground.
The DCC Ground will also host the quarter-finals matches on March 27 and 28 while the recently built stadium at Leonora will be the battle ground for the tournament’s semi-finals on April 1 and the finals will be played at the Guyana National Stadium on April 5.
The winners of this year’s tournament will walk away with $2M, second-placers $1M, while third and fourth placers pocket $500 000 and $250 000 respectively.
At yesterday’s team briefing, the clubs and the organisers all went through the rules and regulations for the tournament where a number of issues were clarified.
Unlike the previous years it was stated by Kashif Mohammad that teams will not be given the customary preparation fee since it’s a short tournament coupled with ‘not so kind’ response from corporate Guyana.
According to Mohammad, businesses are sceptical of investing heavily since it’s an election year and the tournament is close to when the country head to the polls.
Nonetheless, he (Mohammad) is optimistic that the tournament will be well received and attended by the football hungry public.
The clubs all expressed their delight at participating and had no objections or reservations at not having the habitual preparation fee, understanding the organiser’s position.