The quest to win the 2019 Michezonet Soccer tournament begins this weekend with eight teams across Samia, Busia County battling it out.
In a new format, the teams will be divided into two pools with the top two teams making it into the play offs instead of straight semi finals.
Teams that have confirmed participation are former champions Bukiri Rangers, Lucky Stars and Nanderema Combined. Others are debutants Young Muslims, Busijo United, Rock Stars, Green Angels. Regulars Blue Eagles is the eighth team in the tournament that will come to its climax on Christmas day.
Four venues, Nandereka Primary School, Nabalaki Primary School, Busijo Primary School and Bujwanga Primary School grounds will host the matches.
This year will see the inclusion of play offs in the tournament. Teams finishing in the top two in each pool would qualify for the playoff round. Earlier there used to be the two conventional semi-finals just after the group stage, this meant that all the 4 teams had equal chances of making it to the final. This somehow was unfair to the teams who finished in the top in their pools.
The concept of playoffs will bring an extra game before the final. This means that 3 games would be played before the finalists are decided. First, a semifinal game would be played between the pools winners. The winner of the match would go straight into the final. The loser though would not be out of contention.
Next, an eliminator game would be played between the pools runners up. The loser will get knocked out of the tournament. The winner would go on to play in the second qualifier against the losing team of the first qualifier. Now the winner of this game would qualify for the final.