NAIROBI, Kenya, June 1 – English Premier League (EPL) side Everton FC are looking forward to breaking new ground when they take on the winners of the 2017 Super Cup on July 13 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
The club will become the first EPL side to play in East Africa at the 60,000-seater National Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam in a trip that celebrates their main partnership with gaming giants SportPesa.
“We are breaking new ground and we have no doubt we’ll be making new friends and adding to our growing international fan base when we visit in July.
“I know Ronald Koeman and the players are really looking forward for a good match against one of East Africa’s best team,” Robert Elstone, the Everton CEO and Director said at the Tanzanian capital.
Four teams each from Kenya and Tanzania will vie for the inaugural Super Cup from Monday with the final of the knockout tournament being played at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam June 11 where the winner will pocket USD30,000 and a trophy in addition to the dream chance of playing Everton.
The game will be part of Everton’s build-up to the 2017/18 EPL season and their return to European football after they qualified for the UEFA Europa League by finishing seventh in the just concluded campaign.
“Pre-season is critically important time for us and Koeman and his staff to prepare for the big season ahead and being the first Premier League team to come and play in Tanzania will be an exciting part of those preparations,” Elstone emphasised.
Speaking in Dar-es-Salaam, SportPesa Global Chief Marketing Officer, Joyce Kibe, said playing a club with the pedigree of Everton was the boost needed to stimulate the growth of football in East Africa.
“I’m proud to note this is the start of an exciting journey in our vision to lift the standard of East African football by bringing international exposure right at the region’s doorstep.
“I had the rare chance of interacting with club legend, Leon Osman who was with us here in Tanzania and the CEO, Elstone and I am certain their invaluable insight into how to develop the game is surely what we need to jump-start football in East Africa,” Kibe added.
Osman who was part of the Everton delegation to Tanzania as an ambassador joined Everton at 10 years old and rose through the ranks at the Club’s Academy, going on to make 433 first-team appearances as a midfielder for the Blues.
The midfielder scored 58 goals in that time and ended his Everton career at the end of the 2016 EPL season in joint 10th place in the Club’s all-time appearance record.
Kenyan Premier League champions, Tusker FC, 15-time record winners Gor Mahia FC, AFC Leopards and Nakuru All Stars will vie for the Super Cup against Tanzanian giants, titleholder Yanga SC and Simba SC, promoted side Singida United FC and Jang’ombe Boys FC who are the crown-holders in Zanzibar.