Soweto Derby: Why the Black Label Cup was Cancelled

Johannesburg - The 2018 edition of the Carling Black Label Champion Cup will temporarily take a break this year, but will return in 2019, the sponsors have announced. 

This means there will be one less Soweto Derby in the coming season, with the first meeting between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates being postponed until next year.

South Africa's two biggest clubs usually meet in the tournament prior to the start of the season, although it has been confirmed that that will not be the case this year due to the FIFA World Cup that gets underway in June, although it is expected back in 2019.

AB InBev, the brewing company that owns Black Label, also has Budweiser on their portfolio and say they will be focusing on that sponsorship as an official World Cup partner.
Soweto Derby Cancelled 

A statement sent out this morning said, "The Carling Black Label Champion Cup will be postponed in 2018, to allow our new stable-mate in the AB InBev portfolio, Budweiser the King of Beers, to activate their global sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup, over the June and July period.

"AB InBev intends to leverage the company’s global sponsorship of the FIFA 2018 World Cup to bring fans a unique and engaging experience of the global showpiece. Activities are planned in South Africa throughout the duration of the tournament, over June and July, the period which traditionally hosts the Carling Black Label Champion Cup."

Meanwhile, Grant Pereira, Carling Black Label's Director, added: “We fully understand our consumers’ anticipation of the Carling Black Label Champion Cup as it has become South Africa’s most sought-after pre-season showpiece.

However, as Budweiser is now part of our AB InBev family, it is the company’s intent to celebrate and support the activations around the FIFA World Cup and allow fans the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the tournament.

“Our commitment to local football, and the fans of local football, is stronger than ever before: In August 2018 we will launch our new partnership with the Premier Soccer League, which aims to bring our consumers an unprecedented fan experience throughout the season, across all 16 teams.

“And in 2019 we expect to bring back the Carling Black Label Champion Cup in a refreshed format”.

It now remains to be seen what Chiefs and Pirates will organise as their flagship game for the upcoming pre-season preparations before the 2018/19 campaign gets underway. - Online Sources

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