By Frank Lupupa
COACHES have welcomed Barclays Bank’s announcement that it will increase prize money in next year’s football tournament.
The bank, which sponsors the only cup competition in the country, recently came under attack on social media for what football fans termed meagre individual awards to deserving recipients in this year’s tournament.
The tournament, which kicked off at pre-quarter final stage involving six Super League and Division One teams, saw the man of the match receiving only K1,000; coach of the tournament receiving 10,000 while the player of the tournament received K5,000.
But fans have for a long time complained about the amounts and took to social media after this year’s final between eventual winners Zesco United and league winners Zanaco, saying the amounts awarded were demeaning and did not encourage competition.
Following social media outrage, Barclays head of marketing and corporate relations Mato Shimabale released a statement announcing that the bank would review the prizes for next year’s tournament.
“We thank all the soccer fans for their feedback on the Man of the Match which we value and have noted. Barclays will review the prize money in the respective categories for next year as we aim to make the tournament even bigger and better,” Shimabale stated.
Nkana assistant coach Zeddy Saileti said Barclays should go a step further and review all prizes in order to attract more competition.
“That is good for football, it will attract more competition, but they should review all categories, not just the coach of the year or player of the year, but everything else. Otherwise, it’s nice that they will increase, because this year’s tournament was very competitive and with that announcement, it will become even more attractive,” said Saileti whose team was eliminated in the semi-finals by Zanaco.
Power Dynamos assistant coach Anderson Phiri said: “It will be a good move to make and will be a morale booster to all participants.”
This year’s coach of the tournament recipient Tenant Chembo refused to comment while player of the tournament Charles Zulu could not be reached by press time.