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Goal senior writer Ernest Makhaya shares his views on the Carling Black Label Cup that has gained popularity amongst South African fans

It’s been three wonderful years since the Carling Black Label Cup was introduced to South African football fans, and although neutral fans might be against the idea of seeing only two teams participate in this competition, the fact remains that these are the two most supported teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

When the Telkom Charity Cup was scrapped back in 2011, Dr Irvin Khoza cited “fixture congestion and player fatigue” as reasons for its demise. The hype leading up to the Soweto derby itself still beats that of the four “unknown” teams that would normally participate in the Telkom Charity Cup.

Just look at the number of votes these two teams have acquired in a single year. Over 22 million votes were recorded this year alone; a number which all the 16 teams combined could not reach in one tournament. This Soweto Derby stirs the emotions like no other game.

Perhaps another good thing about this Carling Black Label Cup is that it gives our fans a chance to get closer to the pitch and even closer to their players by actually voting for them to play.

The bragging rights and pride are at stake here, and both sets of fans can only vote for their best players to be on the field of play, and there should be a winner at the end of the day which makes it even more fascinating.

I am certain that those who will not be able to attend the game will be glued to their screens come Saturday afternoon, despite being against the idea of just Chiefs playing Pirates.

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