Eight Premier League clubs will be taking part in the first edition of the AME Cup 2012 which will be held at the Luxol Stadium between Sunday 22nd July and Sunday 5th August. Details about the tournament were given by organiser Louis Agius from JPL Sport Events and Steve Abela from Luxol Events during a press conference at Cañas y Tapas, St. George’s Bay.
The eight teams who will be taking part in the AME Cup are: Balzan FC, Birkirkara FC, Hamrun Spartans FC, Mosta FC, Qormi FC, Rabat Ajax FC, Sliema Wanderers FC and Tarxien Rainbows FC. These were divided into two groups of four teams.
Qormi, Birkirkara, Rabat Ajax and Sliema Wanderers will be playing in Group A; Balzan, Mosta, Tarxien Rainbows and Hamrun Spartans in Group B.
Louis Agius explained that each team will play three matches in the group stage with the top two in both groups meeting in the semi-finals and eventually the final or the match for third/fourth place. Teams placing third in the groups will face each other in the match for fifth/sixth place while teams placing fourth in the groups will face each other in the match for seventh/eighth place.
Three points will be awarded for a win and in case of a draw – even in the group stage, the penalty shoot-out will determine the winner with two points going for the winner and one for the loser of the penalty shoot-out.
A maximum of six substitutes may be used during a game and there will be no limit on the number of foreigners which can be used.
On behalf of Luxol Events, Steve Abela said that during pre-season, clubs usually struggle to find the right opposition and therefore this tournament provides an excellent opportunity for clubs and their coaches.
Anthony Briguglio said all matches will be controlled by MFA referees and besides a trophy for the Top Scorer, another trophy will be presented for Fair Play with six points being deducted for each red card and three for each yellow card.
Mario Camilleri from AME Health and Safety Services Ltd said that by sponsoring the tournament, the company was hoping to raise awareness about health and safety in general and in case of clubs, about health and safety in sports facilities.
Other tournament sponsors include Cañas y Tapas, Silstone from Hal Mann, Teamsport, Mutti from Carmelo Abela Marketing, Misto Cafe, S&S Bathroom and Old Spice.
Fixtures are as follows:
Sunday 22nd July – Group A
18:30 Birkirkara vs Sliema W.
20:30 Qormi vs Rabat A.
Monday 23rd July – Group B
18:30 Mosta vs Hamrun S.
20:30 Balzan vs Tarxien R.
Thursday 26th July – Group A
18:30 Qormi vs Birkirkara
20:30 Rabat A. vs Sliema W.
Friday 27th July – Group B
18:30 Balzan vs Mosta
20:30 Tarxien R. vs Hamrun S.
Sunday 29th July – Group A
18:30 Rabat A. vs Birkirkara
20:30 Qormi vs Sliema W.
Monday 30th July – Group B
18:30 Tarxien R. vs Mosta
20:30 Balzan vs Hamrun S.
Thursday 2nd August – Semi-Finals
18:30 Winner Group A vs Runner-Up Group B
20:30 Winner Group B vs Runner-Up Group A
Saturday 4th August
18:30 4th placed Group A vs 4th placed Group B
20:30 3rd placed Group A vs 3rd placed Group B
Sunday 5th August
18:30 Loser semi-final 1 vs Loser semi-final 2
20:30 Winner semi-final 1 vs Winner semi-final 2