The winners of the tournament, whose finals are slated for July 31, will represent the country in next season’s Caf Confederation Cup as well as pocket Sh2 million in prize money. The competition has attracted 64 teams with only 11 FKF Premier League teams out of 18 drawn in the competition.
Bandari will play against National Super League side Murang’a Seal as AFC Leopards visit lower-tier side Taita Taveta All Stars in the preliminary round of the competition that kicks off on the weekend of February 13. Gor Mahia’s trip to Mombasa to face-off with Congo Boys has been rescheduled to a yet-to-be confirmed date as the record Kenyan league champions will be clashing with Zambian side Napsa in the Confederation Cup play-off first leg tie in Nairobi.
Former winners Sofapaka will have a date with Kitale All Stars while Kariobangi Sharks are set to travel to Naivasha to tackle Flamingo FC. Tusker face off with Mihuu United while Bidco United will square it out with MMUSt FC.
According to Barry Otieno, the FKF secretary-general, all matches will be played in accordance with the strict Covid-19 protocols.
And to avoid a repeat of last year’s scenario where there were no winners after the tournament was cancelled at the quarterfinals stage due to the outbreak of Covid-19, Otieno said the federation has come up with a criteria for selecting a winner.
“There will be Covid-19 tests for all those involved but we don’t know how frequent that exercise will be. We will cater for test costs jointly with the clubs.
“It is unfortunate the FKF regulations had not envisioned a situation where a Cup would not be played to its conclusion last year. But this time around we have criteria for choosing a winner if Covid-19 persists.”
Betway Kenya PR and Media Executive Karen Njerenga said: “We are pleased to see the kick-off of the Betway Cup 2021 after a tough year. We are looking forward to an exciting tournament as we continue supporting sports in Kenya.”