THE Bob Super Cup will once again create some explosive pre-season soccer battle when it returns to the fold under a new format for the fourth time in as many editions. The tournament has been running over the past three years and this year's competition, dubbed "Bob 90 Super Cup", will see the top three teams in the Premier Soccer League from last season - Dynamos, Highlanders and Harare City -- battling it out in Bulawayo and Harare.
The matches will be played on February 16 and 23.
The Bob Super Cup was incepted in 2011 to celebrate the birthday of President Mugabe. The first edition of this competition was won by Dynamos after overcoming their rivals CAPS United.
The following year the title went to FC Platinum and last year Dynamos clinched the Cup for the second time after beating Highlanders.
Dynamos, as the defending champions, have a bye in the opening match while second-placed Highlanders will clash with Harare City, who finished third in the league last season, in a one leg match at Barbourfields in Bulawayo on February 16.
The winner between the two teams will then meet Dynamos in the final at Rufaro on February 23.
Speaking at a press conference held yesterday in Harare, the tournament's spokesperson, Charles "CNN" Mabika, said the format is meant to create excitement after last season's photo-finish in the championship race and to give the title holders the opportunity to defend the crown.
"From this year we sat as the organising committee and we came up with the recommendation that we would like to give the team that would won the Bob Super Cup the chance of defending the title the following year.
"We have picked the top three teams from the Premiership from last season. The top three teams are Dynamos, Highlanders and Harare City.
Now because of this new format that we introduced this year, Dynamos, as the defending champions, have got a bye into the final.
"So there would be an elimination match between the second-placed and third-placed teams, and that is Highlanders and Harare City.
"So that elimination match will take place at Barbourfields on the 16th of February over one leg because of time. And the final will be played on February 23 at Rufaro," said Mabika.
Mabika said the prize money for the tournament will be announced at a dinner to be held on January 31 in Harare as they are still negotiating with sponsors.
Accommodation for the participating teams will be catered for by the organisers. Last year the winners walked away with US$110 000 and the runners-up got US$70 000. The organising committee's chairman, Stan Kasukuwere, said the road has not been easy but they have managed to partner the corporate world and they are looking forward to a bigger and better tournament this year.
"We have managed to partner the business community. We have actually managed to get some support and trust. It's going to be exciting. The more exciting thing is he (President Mugabe) is turning 90 and 90 is not a joke. He deserves this which is why we are taking our time to organise this year's tournament," said Kasukuwere.
He indicated that there are a number of sponsors who have come on board including Chicken Slice, Lobels and Nyaradzo Funeral Services.
The press conference was also attended by the participating teams' representatives with Harare City chairman Leslie Gwindi representing his side while Highlanders were represented by Mgcini Mpofu who is the executive vice-chairman. Dynamos were represented by their treasurer Webster Marechera.