World Standard Chartered Bank Road to Anfield champions Kenya’s Capital FM will not get an automatic ticket to defend their title during this year’s edition of the tournament to be staged in the United Kingdom (UK) on May 21st.
Standard Chartered CEO, Mr Lamin Manjang said the media house will have to go through the normal qualification process which begins on February 25th in Nairobi at St Mary’s School.
“According to tournament’s rules and regulations the defending champion does not get a wild card to go and defend the title and will have to undergo the qualification process by battling with other teams,” he said.
The winner of the local qualifying tournament will travel to Tanzania to take part in the East Africa Regional final to fight for qualification to the international round in Liverpool. This is a departure from last year’s tournament where winners, Capital FM, got a direct qualification to Liverpool.
Speaking to the Media during the launch, Lamin said as part of its Liverpool sponsorship, The Bank will host 32 teams comprising of Standard Chartered clients and Media partners who will battle for the single slot to represent Kenya in the regional tournament.
“The winner from the regional tournament will then represent their country at the Standard Chartered Trophy Finals, to be played at Liverpool FC’s home ground; Anfield, on 21st May 2017”, added Lamin.
Defending champions Capital FM, the first team from Africa team to ever win the international tournament, will be looking to repeat their last year’s stellar performance that saw them edge out Radio Africa Group 3-0 in an entertaining final played at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.
Capital went ahead to win the Standard Chartered Trophy after beating the then reigning champions South Korea 3-2 in a pulsating final played in front of the famous ‘Kop end’ of Liverpool FC’s stadium.
The draw will be conducted on February 21 at the Standard Chartered Bank headquarters where the participating team’s captains and officials of the financial institution will be in attendance to oversee the process.