Battle lines drawn for ABC Motsepe League Play Offs

 

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The battle lines for the 2017 ABC Motsepe Play Offs have been drawn after the South African Football Association (SAFA) in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation conducted the draw on Tuesday, 30 May 2017.

The Play-Offs will take place from 5 – 11 June and will be held in East London at three different venues – Jan Smuts Stadium and Sisa Dukashe will host the group stages matches as well as the semi-finals.

The final will take place on Sunday, 11 June at Buffalo City Stadium.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

Following a long and demanding season of competitive ABC Motsepe League football, nine teams emerged champions of their respective provinces and are now just a few days away from competing for the ultimate prize.

The following Provincial clubs have been confirmed as champions in their respective provinces and will go into the hat for the 2017 draw:

  1. Eastern Cape                                             EC Bees
  2. Free State                                                  Super Eagles
  3. Gauteng                                                     TBC
  4. KwaZulu Natal                                           Uthongathi
  5. Limpopo                                                     The Dolphins
  6. Mpumalanga                                              Acornbush
  7. Northern Cape                                          Mainstay United
  8. North West                                                Buya Msuthu
  9. Western Cape                                           Zizwe United

NB:          The Gauteng stream has not been decided – Maccabi won the league but Vaal Professionals have lodged a protest – the matter has been heard and the ruling will be out on Thursday, 1 June 2017.

With only two promotion spots available in the 2017/18 National First Division (NFD) season and R1 Million prize money for the overall winners at stake, football fans in and around East London can brace themselves for a week of great and entertaining football.

The over-all winner in the final will receive directly an amount of eight hundred thousand rand (R800 000.00), with an additional two hundred thousand rand (R200 000.00) to be applied for the development of youth football project chosen for by the winner in consultation with both SAFA and the Motsepe Foundation.

The runners-up in the final will receive an amount of four hundred thousand rand (R400 000.00) with an additional one hundred thousand rand (R100 000.00) to be applied for the development of youth football project chosen for by the runner-up in consultation with both SAFA and the Motsepe Foundation.

“As the Motsepe Foundation, we are proud to be associated with this venture as it talks to the heart of development, which we are passionate about. For South African football to be ranked up high amongst the best, it is important that the foundation laid is solid, and we are excited that we are playing a meaningful role in that aspect. We would like to thank our partners SAFA for allowing us to be part of this great initiative,” said Nozipho Xulu, General Manager: Motsepe Foundation.

The nine teams in the draw were placed in two groups of four and five teams each.

As in previous years, the teams will play against each other in a round robin format with the top two finishers gaining promotion to the NFD.

The group leaders will also advance to the final of the competition to compete for the coveted ABC Motsepe League trophy as well as the R1 Million prize money, while the runners up will pocket R500 000.

“It has been yet another season of competitive football in the ABC Motsepe League. We thank our partners, the Motsepe Foundation for believing in the vision of the Association of developing football in the country. Such partnerships go a long way in SAFA’s continuous efforts of football development.  We wish all the nine teams the best of luck in this year’s national play offs” said SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan.

The 2016 Edition of the Play-Offs, held in Bloemfontein, saw the following teams taking part:

Orbit College (North West), Morester Jeug (Northern Cape), Steenberg United (Western Cape), Magesi FC (Limpopo), Real Kings (KwaZulu Natal), Manco Milano (Free State), Tornado FC (Eastern Cape), JDR Stars (Gauteng) and Apollo XI (Mpumalanga).

Magesi FC of Limpopo came tops after defeating Kings United of KwaZulu-Natal 5-3 on penalties after the match ended in 1-1 stalemate at the Dr P Molemela Stadium.

Sadly Magesi FC (together with Santos FC) has been relegated to the ABC Motsepe League (, while Real Kings finished in 11th position with 36 points – 26 behind champions Thanda Royal FC.

Magesi accumulated 31 points in 30 matches – they won eight, drew seven and lost 15.

Cape Town All Stars won promotion in 2014, while Mbombela United were crowned champions in 2015.

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