The once popular pre-season tournament, Kabelano Charity, might never be played again this season if information reaching Sunday Standard is anything to go by.
The tournament has not been held for the past few years and, surprisingly, it has a sponsorship.
The Premier League, on the other hand, has made it clear this year that they would not have a slot for the tournament because their calendar is full. The Executive Secretary of the Premier League, Setete Phuthego, confirmed to Sunday Standard that their schedule does not allow for any tournament except the ones they have on the table already.
“Unfortunately, the way things are at the moment we will not have Kabelano Charity tournament this year because our calendar is full. We have so many activities lined up and Kabelano, unfortunately, is not one of them,” he said. Phuthego also added that there are two issues that are compounding the tournament’s scheduling.
“We have an agreement with our Premier League sponsors, be-Mobile, to have a charity tournament and this means we cannot have two concurrent charity tournaments. Also, for the past few years, we have had a problem of a venue for a tournament of charity magnitude. Normally, the National Stadium was the one regularly used but since being closed for renovations we have had problems,” he said.
Phuthego did not want to comment on rumours that the Premier League is dealing Kabelano tournament a slow death because the prize money involved is too little.
A source at the Premier League said that the Kabelano charity tournament might not see the light of day at all because some officials believe that it exploits teams.
“What I can just tell you is that these Premier League guys are just making excuses of their timetable being full but they are resolute not to let Kabelano see the light of day. They believe that Premier League teams have been exploited enough,” the source said.
The source also added that the Premier League is now of the belief that teams should get more from whatever participation they are involved in to improve their well being.
By press time, efforts to get a comment from Kabelano Trust were futile. The tournament has been in existence for more than ten years and had been drawing large crowds.