The annual New Year’s Cup soccer tournament will once again be hosted in Makhanda (Grahamstown) from mid-December 2018 to early January 2019, with preparations already under way. This will be the third successive year that Makhanda will host the national tournament.
Voting lines are currently open for the participating teams. Currently, 90 teams have registered for voting, which needs to be reduced to 32 to compete in the prestigious tournament. Voting for the participating teams will close on Saturday 3 November, with the final teams to be announced shortly afterwards. Supporters can still cast their votes for their team by sending an SMS containing Team+Address+Province to 47555; SMSes cost R3 per vote.
The winners of the tournament will receive a grand prize of R100 000 as well as a full set of new kit, along with their trophy and medals. Second- and third-place teams will receive R50 000 and R25 000 respectively, alongside their medals and full kit, while the fourth place team will receive R20 000 and full kit. Additionally, all 32 final teams will be provided with 10 match and practice balls per team.
The organisers of this year’s event will be aided by a number of sponsors, including Mercedes Benz (Official Sponsor), the South African Football Association (SAFA), La Liga, the Eastern Province Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC), the South African Defence Force and new sponsor, Coca Cola.
The official grand opening of this year’s tournament will take place on Sunday 16 December, with delegations from all over the world here to celebrate, including from the US, Uzbekistan, alongside representatives from FIFA, Cosafa and SAFA. They will also be joined by Gauteng Legends from the 80s and 90s, who will be here to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s centenary.
The New Year’s Cup Committee hope to bring the world to the local communities, and achieve through sport.