No Sundowns at Cup, but show goes on

2015-11-19 06:00

ONE of the soccer teams scheduled to play at the Hibiscus Coast Mayoral Club on Saturday was removed from the log at the last minute and angry soccer fanatics took to social media to vent.

According to Cup organisers, there was not enough funds released to pay Sundowns in full upfront.

Gamalakhe United was called to replace Sundowns, which created a positive spin-off for certain players.

Event organiser, Nhlakanipho Mkhize, of Dark or Blue said they either had to use their entire budget to pay Sundowns only or they could cancel Sundowns and let the event continue.

“We chose to go with the latter, and although the negative was that Sundowns did not play, there were many positives, We do however, apologise to all who were disappointed,” said Mkhize.

Three players from Gamalakhe and the Hibiscus Coast Invitational Team were identified by the Golden Arrows.

“The arrangement was that they start training on Wednesday this week,” he said.

He said the event also put the Hibiscus Coast and the Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre on the map.

“Newsclip captured the event from the build-up to the end. The total cost of the advertising was R1,8 million, which the municipality did not have to pay for,” said Mkhize.

He said teams also visited KwaNzimakwe and Gamalakhe on Friday where they motivated the youth to get involved in soccer and to stay away from drugs.

“Eighty percent of the service providers used for the event were local so the event also gave the local economy a boost,” he said.

“When one looks at all the positives and compares it to the one negative of the Sundowns not making an appearance, one can see the event was a success,” he added.

Althought ticket sales were not great, Mkhize said that was not the focus of the event.

“We only sold tickets as a security measure. We did not want 10 000 people showing up at a facility that can only handle 3 000.

“The aim of the event was to scout local soccer talent and create a platform for these players to showcase their talent and we have achieved that,” added Mkhize.

He said he looked forward to next year’s Cup which will be bigger and better and look forward to working with the Hibiscus Coast Municipality and stakeholders again.

Event organiser said they either had to use their entire budget to pay Sundowns only or they could cancel Sundowns and let the event continue

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