Story by Prince Morake
The game-changing evolution of the beloved Carling Black Label Cup brought the energy to South African football and ignited a spark that could light up the sport in years to come.
Carling Black Label took the match to another level after a decade by giving champion fans the power to vote for a Carling All-Star team to take on the newly crowned Carling Knockout champions – Stellenbosch FC.
The reinvigorated Carling Black Label Cup, allowed upcoming talent to share the same training camp, change room and then eventually take to the field with some of the country’s top footballers.
The Carling All-Star team starting XI featured five players from the Diski Challenge teams with the other six coming from the first teams of the Premier Soccer League outfits.
Fans were kept at the edge of their seats as the nonstop action-packed match saw the Carling All-Stars team edge over Stellenbosch FC 2-1 at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday.
The big winners on the day were the champion fans – who were also treated to a star-studded musical performance with a line-up that included Makhadzi, Thebe, Paige, Clement Maosa and King Monada.
The Carling All-Star team broke the deadlock three minutes into the game, scoring a scorcher through Kaizer Chiefs sensational starlet Mfundo Vilakazi’ free-kick; then Ashley du Preez sealed things for the Carling All-Star team with a penalty. Stellies found the net late through a well-worked Mervin Boji goal.
The Carling All-Stars team were rewarded a R2 Million winner’s cheque plus an additional R870 000 in Fak’ iGoal Uzobona prize money. The 33-man squad that includes 10 members of the technical staff will each walk away with close to R90K each, and Stellies will receive a R1-million runners up cheque.
Fak’ iGoal Uzobona incentivised teams to score early, whilst also rewarding one champion fan who correctly guessed the first scoring team and minute of the goal. The Carling Knockout Final and Carling Cup saw the Fak ‘iGoal Uzobona prize money increase ten times over, and counted down from R900 000, dropping by R10 000 each passing minute without a goal.
One lucky fan from those who guessed the minute of the first goal and first scoring team correctly will pocket a staggering R870 000 through the Fak’ iGoal Uzobona innovation. This initiative started during the inaugural Carling Knockout, and in total it will be rewarding close to R2 million to champion fans.
To further reward players for playing their hearts out, the Man of the Match award came with a R100 000 cheque, which also empowered champion fans to vote for their preferred candidate. Thus, making it one of the most rewarding Man of the Match awards on the continent.
Itumeleng Khune received the most votes from South African football loving fans to bag the R100 000 Man of the Match prize, after a stellar performance in goal for the All-Star team.
Over 3.25-million votes were placed by fans throughout the campaign, with over 168 000 coming on the Carling Cup finale to engage with the campaign.
To stay up to date with any further announcements, champion fans should check the official brand website and social media pages:
Facebook: Carling Black Label
Official Hashtag: #CarlingCup