Leopards, Homeboyz to play in inaugural Elijah Lidonde Memorial Cup

AFC Leopards

AFC Leopards players celebrate their goal against Kakamega Hoemboyz during their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega on May 29, 2022.



Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Tournament patron Alexander Muteshi said: “The Lidonde tournament will offer a chance to Western Kenya residents to witness first-hand some of the country’s top talents.
  • Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Director General of Immigration Alexander Muteshi, Western region governors, Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), Sospeter Ojaamong’ (Busia) and Wilber Otichillo of Vihiga are among those expected to grace the tournament.

Three Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League clubs have confirmed participation in the inaugural Elijah Lidonde Memorial Cup.

The off-season football tournament, which will be held in memory of departed Ingwe footballers who also played for the national team Harambee Stars, will be staged at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on July 9 and 10.

AFC Leopards, Kakamega Homeboyz, Nzoia United, and Vihiga Bullets, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, will compete for the Sh1 million prize money in addition to honouring former legends of the game in the country.

The official unveiling of the two-day tournament and draw will be held on July 8 at the late Lidonde's Shikokho home in Kakamega.

According to the secretary of the tournament’s organising committee, Winna Shilavula, format of play will be knock-out basis.

Winners of the two opening encounters will meet in the final, while the losers will clash in a third place play-off.

“All participating teams will converge at Lidonde’s home on July 8 for lunch and witness the unveiling ceremony, where the tournament fixtures will be announced,” said Shilavula, a former Kisumu Posta player, who also played for Harambee Stars between 1993-1994.

Tournament co-sponsors Valon FC will play Wazee wa Kazi, comprising retired international based in Kakamega in a curtain-raiser.

Homeboyz, coached by ex-international Bernard Mwalala, were among the best performing teams in the FKF Premier League last season, finishing second. They narrowly lost the title to Tusker on goal difference.

Leopards finished fifth on the log, while Nzoia and Vihiga managed 14th and 17th positions on the standings respectively.

Speaking in Nairobi after returning from Kitale where they beat Kitale Combined 2-1 in an exhibition match, AFC Leopards assistant coach Tom Juma said they will field their main squad in the memorial tournament.

“We shall resume serious training on Monday, but everybody wants to play in Kakamega and win the trophy for our fans who have not won any silverware for a long time,” added Juma, who is standing in for head coach Patrick Aussems, who is away on holiday.

Mwalala on his part said his team is eager to win the trophy before their home supporters who are eagerly waiting for the action.

Tournament patron Alexander Muteshi said: “The Lidonde tournament will offer a chance to Western Kenya residents to witness first-hand some of the country’s top talents.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Director General of Immigration Alexander Muteshi, Western region governors, Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), Sospeter Ojaamong’ (Busia) and Wilber Otichillo of Vihiga are among those expected to grace the tournament.

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