The first edition of the Sakaja Super Cup football tournament has been launched.Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja led hundreds of football enthusiasts in launching the tournament at Nairobi’s City hall, Wednesday 27th September, 2023.
A total of 340 teams, and thousands of youths, drawn from all the 17 sub counties in Nairobi will take part in the tournament, set to kick off on September 30th with the grand finale set for December 16th, 2023.
Speaking, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja pledged support for the youth engaging in sports noting that the Sakaja Foundation, which is organizing the three month tournament will offer support to not only football but all other sports activities in the county beginning with a massive sports infrastructural development across the city which has already began.
“This is a dream come true and I want to assure all youths in Nairobi that I will support sports in different disciplines to ensure that thousands of out talented youths have opportunities to earn a living from their talent,” Sakaja said.
The Nairobi Governor announced that during the duration of the tournament, scouts will be actively engaged to spot talented players and those who will land opportunities to go for trials abroad, he will support their travel to allow them the opportunity to seek advancement in their football careers.
“I was graceful elected the Governor of Nairobi and I want to pledge that I will work to support sports at all levels because our youths have great talents which can change their lives. I know thousand of youths will benefit from this tournament and the Sakaja foundation will also support other sports not only football,” he added.
“This are three months of football which 340 teams will participate with the winners taking home Ksh 3 million prize money with the runners up pocketing Ksh 2 million and the third placed team winning Ksh 1 million,” Sakaja noted.
“Sports has the ability to unite people so let us use this tournament to bring back the spirit of Nairobi where we have no tribal lines. This Super Cup is for all Nairobians,” he said.
Tournament director Osman Khalif said that a rich kitty has been set aside by the Sakaja foundation towards awarding the winners with the ladies category, individual good performers and the most decorated and organised fan bases also getting cash rewards.
“This cup is organised by the Sakaja foundation which was started in October 2017 and we are going to have very competitive prizes for the winners so I call on all teams to get prepared for battle,” Osman said.
“In the ladies category, winners will take home prize money of 1 millions shillings, runners up, 500,000 shillings and the third placed team getting 250,000 shillings. Besides awarding the top scorers, best goalkeeper, most valuable player and most promising player, teams with the most decorated and organised fan bases will get 300,000 shillings for the winners, 200,000 for the second placed and 100,000 shillings for the third placed fan bases,” Sakaja announced.
Nairobi talent, skills development and care Chief Officer Oscar Igaida said that the county government will support the Sakaja foundation in actualizing the tournament which he said will culminate to the formation of a county combined team which will start its way up in FKF competitions.
Football Kenya Federation will support the tournament by offering expert technical guidance. At the same time, FKF CEO Barry Otieno pledged to give a 100,000 shillings prize for the best sub county coordinator.
Sakaja said that his administration will ensure that all parcels of land meant for sports facilities and which have been grabbed are reverted to the county government calling on Members of the County Assembly to join in the war to reclaim these lands.
Teams have been polled by sub-county from where the group winners will advance to the knock out stages meaning that teams from the same sub county will not meet in the knock outs.
The draw of the tournament was witnessed by Nairobi County Government top brass among them the Nairobi City County Executive Committee Member (CEC) for talent, skills development and care Rosemary Kariuki County Executive Committee Member for Mobility and Works Brian Mulama, talent, skills development and care Chief Officer Oscar Igaida and other top county government officials. Also in attendance were FKF deputy president Doris Petra, FKF CEO Barry Otieno Harambee starlets head coach Beldine Odemba and a host of former Harambee stars players led by Musa Otieno and Dennis Oliech.