This was confirmed finally by SAIL, who are the organizers of the tournament on behalf of leading global telecommunication company Vodacom.
After weeks of uncertainty and non-committal by SAIL, they finally issued the eagerly awaited media statement confirming rumours, albeit Bobby Motaung Kaizer Chiefs Football Manager did confirm it on Kickoff.Com before the actual statement.
English Premiership side Newcastle United and Congolese giants TP Mazembe were the two sides tabled to face Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, but apparently had not signed their contracts on time, according to Jabu Mathibela, tournament organiser.
Sail explained that the “decision was based on a number of influencing factors including failure to reach agreements with various parties.”
Vodacom marketing executive Enzo Scarcella says Vodacom support the decision, while tournament promoter, Jabu Mathibela of Sail, explains the reasoning behind the decision.
“Due to time constraints we felt that at this late stage of the season we would not have done the tournament any justice,” Mathibela says.
“We pride ourselves on operational excellence and the limited time frames would have compromised the quality of the product which South Africans have grown to know and love.
“Sail has always been committed to delivering a great soccer experience to the fans and we are continuing with this in 2013. We apologise to all of our Vodacom Challenge fans.”
This means Carling Black Label will be the only off season tourney which will feature.
Mixed reactions from fans we spoke to some were agitated at the news, whilst on the other hand some said it was fair to the players’ and the organizers.