The Vodacom Challenge tournament next month has been called off by the organizer.
But the news is coming out of South Africa, via Durban newspaper The Mercury, is that the organizer, SAIL, has cancelled the event, because they say that two of the four teams that were to participate have still not yet signed on to participate.
One of the clubs is Newcastle United, who only yesterday announced they would be playing a tournament in Portugal in late July, and it had been hoped to get the famous English team to participate in the event in South Africa.
The two local sides, Kaizer Chiefs, and the Orlando Pirates were to have taken part along with Newcastle and SuperSport United, a team located in Pretoria.
Durban’s acting deputy manager for sustainable development, Philip Sithole, said that as of the beginning of this week, only the two local sides, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, had officially signed up for the tournament.
This is also becoming political, in that opposition parties have asked why the city of Durban have to spend millions to attract sports events to the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
And with the 2013 African Cup of Nations to be hosted next January in South Africa, Mayor James Nxumalo is concerned that the cost of hosting the tournament has still not been finalized.
It’s clear Newcastle will not be participating in South Africa next month, and that will surely be a huge disappointment to all Newcastle fans in South Africa.
Maybe next year?
Thanks to reader Paul Jenshen in South Africa for alerting us to this news.