Charity Cup back in Soweto
Johannesburg - The three-game Telkom Charity Cup spectacular, now in its 25th vibrant year, will be returning to Soccer City - with arrangements planned for a 90 000 crowd at the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup headquarters on Saturday, August 7.
This was announced at the tournament's launch in Johannesburg on Thursday when the organisers revealed they were planning to raise a record R5-million for charity from the unique, three-game extravaganza which was won by Orlando Pirates at Rustenburg's Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace last year.
In all, the tournament has raised R40-million for charity since its inception in which the four competing teams are chosen via a massive, sometimes controversial, public voting system.
Teams have regularly made their way into the event through contrived voting procedures orchestrated by the clubs themselves - and an unchanged system is in place for this year's event.
"But," said PSL life president Leepile Tuanyane, "the prime objective of the enterprise, above all others, is to benefit organisations in dire need of funding - and this is the best way we know of amassing as much money as possible."
And PSL Chief Operations Officer Ronnie Schloss revealed the telephonic and SMS votes alone had raised R750 000 last year and the aim in this respect was to surpass R1-million this time around.
In more specific terms, the pre-season tournament is designed by the participating clubs to gauge their strengths and weaknesses for the coming battles ahead, with a particular emphasis on testing out new signings and rebuilding their line-ups where necessary.
And by the very nature of the system in place for gaining entry into the tournament, the competition has been dominated by the most popular clubs in the country, namely Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, as well as the wealthy like Mamelodi Sundowns, who are able to set in motion procedures which will gain them maximum votes.
The Telkom Charity Cup has led a nomadic existence during the past three years while Soccer City, previously known as FNB Stadium, has been rebuilt as one of the largest and most imposing sporting venues in Africa.
"And with the World Cup as an example," said Schloss, "we are hoping this event will now attract all sections of the South African public as well."