Doctor Khumalo in action
Doctor Khumalo, former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs player, is set to show off his soccer skills at JD Dlepu Stadium tomorrow, during the launch of the inaugural New Year's Cup.
Luyanda Papu, organiser of the New Year’s Cup confirmed that Doctor Khumalo will play for a few minutes during the opening ceremony’s exhibition match.
The exhibition match will be between Eastern Cape Leg- ends vs District Legands. Papu said that Doctor Khumalo will play a few minutes for each side.
Other guests at the opening ceremony include Antonio Barradas (Director of La Liga in Africa), Danny Jordaan (South African Football Association president), Dennis Mumble (Safa CEO), as well as Stanton Fredericks (former Bafana Bafana and Bidvest Wits player).
Representatives from the Sarah Baartman Municipality, Makana Municipality, the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Safa Eastern Cape and Makana Local Football Association will also be in attendance.
While gates open at 9am, proceedings are set to get under way at 11am.
The exhibition match is scheduled for 12.30pm, while the opening match of the New Year’s Cup will kick-off at 2pm.
The opening games will see Grahamstown-based Pioneers take on Mountain Stars from Mthatha. This is the only official New Year’s Cup on the opening day.
Tomorrow’s action is scheduled to start at 10am and games will be played throughout the day. Venues for the New Year’s Cup matches are JD Dlepu (main venue), Miki Yili, Fiddlers Green, Rhodes University King Field and the military base sports field.
Up to 15 games will be played each day from Satur- day to Monday, which will see all teams concluding their group matches. Tuesday is a rest day, before the top 16 battle it out for a spot in the top 8.
From Wednesday 23 December, matches will only be played at Miki Yili and JD Dlepu Stadiums.
Friday 23 December is the second rest day, but matches will be played on Christmas Day.
Papu said residents should go to church on Christmas Day, but after church he encouraged them to come and watch football, instead of “staying at home and drinking”.
The semi-finals are scheduled for 28 December, while the third place play-off and the final to determine the New Year’s Cup champion will take place at JD Dlepu Stadium on Saturday 31 December.
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Makana Rhini United (Maru), in green, enjoyed a morale boosting 3-2 win against United Eleven as part of the South African Football Association SAB regional league fixture at Fiddlers Green on Saturday. Eleven Attackers are the regional league defending champions. Maru will be hoping to take Saturday’s form into the New Year's Cup, but they have been drawn in what organiser Luyanda Papu calls the group of death. Also in the same group are neighbours City Pirates, MK Academy ( Whittlesea) and Young Chiefs (Alice). Maru battled in the derby games this year, so Saturday’s match against City Pirates will be a big one for both sides.