The draw has been done and dusted for the 3rd tournament of the annual Mkhondo Diski Festival currently playing at Thandukukhanya, Mkhondo. A total of sixteen (16) teams entered the competition and attended the draw for Dumsani Msibi Annual Tournament on Monday 10 December 2018. The tournament which used to be known as Mkhondo Xmas Challenge will also change from the knockout only format to a group stage and knockout format.
The tournament includes two visiting clubs Dumbe Real Madrid FC from Paulpietersburg and Valencia FC from Nongoma. They both play SAB League football under Zululand Region in KwaZulu Natal province. Flymingo United FC, PR Barcelona FC and Losta Stars FC are three (3) SAB League teams playing under the Gert Sibande Region SAB League also in the competition. Thandukukhanya Promotion League teams include Citizen FC, Mara Mara FC, Ajax Sweepers FC and PR Wanderers FC. Seven (7) of the teams do not play league football but specialise on playing tournaments. They include 2016 and 2017 champions Muntezama XI a local selection of players that include some professional and ABC Motsepe League players.
The municipal team made up of municipal employees now fancies themselves doing well in this competition after doing well at the SAMSRA Games.
Dangerous Darkies the 2017 runners up from Panbult also entered the competition. Iswepe Young Tigers XI, Leeds United XI, So What XI, Umndeni United XI and the Mkhondo Local Municipality soccer team are some of the non-league teams in the cup tournament. The Mkhondo Local Municipality soccer team played at the South African Municipal Sports and Recreation Association (SAMSRA) national games in 2016 and 2017 where they finished in the top 4 on both occasions. The municipal team made up of municipal employees now fancies themselves doing well in this competition after doing well at the SAMSRA Games.
Group A can be considered as the group of death consisting of defending champions Muntezama XI, Dumbe Real Madrid FC, Citizen FC and Umndeni United FC the only side expected to be weak with old crocks expected to play.
Group B is another group with tough teams in PR Barcelona FC, Mara Mara FC, Iswepe Young Tigers and Leeds United FC the oldest club from Retiefville. Leeds United FC is made up of soccer players from yesteryear.
Group C has two weak teams on paper that might spring a surprise in a very difficult group against two SAB League teams Valencia FC from Nongoma and Flymingo United FC from Phola Park an extension of Thandukukhanya Township in Mkhondo. Valencia FC became champions of Zululand Regional SAB League last season but failed to gain promotion at the provincial playoffs in KwaZulu Natal. Flymingo United FC plays in the Gert Sibande Regional SAB League stream B in Mpumalanga currently in position 2 after playing 14 matches this season.
Ajax Sweepers FC are the underdogs that may spring a huge surprise in the group. The club plays in stream A of Thandukukhanya Promotion League currently occupying position 2 after 16 matches. The fourth team is the Mkhondo Local Municipality employee’s team that has been doing well in playing departmental tournaments including finishing in the top 4 at the national SAMSRA games in 2017 &2018.
Group D is a balance between two clubs playing league football and two non-league teams. Losta Stars FC plays in the Gert Sibande Regional SAB League but have been in poor form this season currently sitting at the relegation zone of the league. PR Wanderers FC from Sgodiphola plays their football under Thandukukhanya Promotion League stream A. They are the current Mkhondo Promotion League champions having won the Mkhondo Playoffs last season. Dangerous Darkies from Panbult finished as runners-up to Muntezama last year losing an exciting final 2-0. The club is one of favourites to go all the way in the tournament. So What FC is made up of former footballers based in Thandukukhanya. They might spring a surprise by coming out of the group. The groups have very strong teams that will entertain football fans during the festive holidays.
The teams finishing position 1&2 will progress to the last 8 (quarter finals) which will be the start of knockout phase of the competition on Saturday 23 December 2018. The semi-finals will be played on Monday 24 December 2018 with the finals playing on Tuesday 25 December 2018 at Mandla Magudulela9 Stadium, Thandukukhanya in Mkhondo. Mandla Magudulela Stadium in Thandukukhanya, Mkhondo is the lit place to be for friends to meet and enjoy the beautiful game known as #Diski99 in township lingo.
The tournament got its new name from Dumsani Msibi the former Amajita and Supersport United FC goalkeeper who has decided to plough back to his community. The new tournament name comes with an improved cash prize for the champions and semi-finalists. The champions will walk away with R15 000, R7000 to runners up, R3000 for 3rd place and a R1500 for the 4th placed team. This is the biggest prize money in the tournament’s six year history and the first ever sponsorship for the tournament. The Mkhondo LFA has been struggling to get local business to assist with sponsoring the festive games which prompted Dumsani Msibi to assist.