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Thu Apr 24 10:34:37 SAST 2014

Time pickle scuppers Challenge

Sapa | 19 June, 2012 14:010 Comments
Absa Premiership: Kaizer Chiefs v AmaZulu
Kaizer Chiefs supporters during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu at FNB Stadium on May 19, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa

THE annual pre-season Vodacom Challenge has officially been cancelled this year because of "time constraints", the sponsors confirmed yesterday.

The tournament, which features local giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates against invited overseas teams, will resume next year.

"Due to time constraints, we felt that at this late stage of the season we would not have done the tournament any justice," tournament promoter Jabu Mathibela said.

"We pride ourselves on operational excellence and the limited timeframe would have compromised the quality of the product which South Africans have grown to love," he said.

It has long been speculated that the tournament, which is played in mid-July, would fall away this season.

However, there were also rumours that the English side Newcastle United and DR Congo's TP Mazembe would participate this time.

The tournament, which first took place in 1999, also fell away in 2010 when the Fifa World Cup was staged in South Africa.

Among previous teams that have been guests are England giants and current Premiership champions Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur.

The African teams which have featured are TP Mazembe, Asec Mimosa from Ivory Coast and Ghana's top side Asante Kotoko.

Pirates won the trophy last year. Chiefs have collected it five times, the most titles in the 12 editions staged.

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