Once a year, a tournament comes around that aims to give supporters a heightened role in soccer, as well as benefit the underprivileged. This used to take the form of the Telkom Charity Cup, but now exists as the Carling Black Label Cup, and it seems the new competition does not do the old one any justice in the eyes of supporters…
The Telkom Charity Cup used to be a one-day tournament, whereby supporters would vote for their team to occupy one of the four places available. The four most popular clubs, according to the votes, would take these spots – it usually involved Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and then either Moroka Swallows or Bloemfontein Celtic, with one or two other teams also featuring over the years.
The new tournament has become more exclusive as the pool has been slimmed down to just two teams, the Soweto giants, with supporters' involvement coming in the form of voting for the starting team and substitutions. Some of the money goes to charity.
It seems that, upon the announcement of the date of the tournament this year (which will take place on 30 July), many supporters took the opportunity to show their dissatisfaction with the whole set-up.
"Boring cup." – Sibongiseni300
"Greedy people closed Telkom Charity Cup with an aim of dominating anything football in Mzansi… Now we are only left with this thing that serves their own interest." – skyxmade
"Fundraising match for the chairmen's families… Be the fake coach in the process." – Makarina
"Stupid cup which does not include PSL giants Sundowns and Wits." – Cames Matemeta
So it seems the supporters are not happy with this competition in its current form. It seems to be a less inclusive cup with less teams involved. While it is important to remember that this tournament is not arranged to heighten the wealth of Kaizer Motaung and Irvin Khoza, and while it does still have a charity element which is good, it doesn't seem to serve the country as wholeheartedly as its predecessor did, in the eyes of the supporters.
The competition pool has been lessened, which in the process has lessened the diversity of interests, and the image of charity focus almost seems to have been replaced by a focus on branding from one company and a voting process. The supporters do not seem to be convinced by this tournament supposedly set up in their honour.
What is your take on the tournament? What changes would you make?