South Africa's football enthusiasts are gearing up for an exciting inaugural season of the Carling Knockout Cup, a tournament that promises to redefine the local football landscape.
Organized by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and proudly sponsored by Carling Black Label, this eagerly anticipated competition is set to run from October 21, 2023, through December 16, 2023.
With the added excitement of the Carling Cup All-Stars match scheduled for January 6, 2024, this tournament promises to be a footballing spectacle like no other.
A replacement for Telkom Knockout
In a significant development, the Carling Knockout Cup is replacing the Telkom Knockout, offering a fresh take on South African football.
This change ushers in an era of innovation and rejuvenation, with Carling Black Label stepping in as the primary sponsor.
Furthermore, this marks the merger of the Carling Black Label Cup, previously contested by four teams, into the Carling Knockout Cup, allowing a total of 16 teams to vie for glory.
The anticipation for this expanded tournament is palpable, and it comes with not one but two trophies up for grabs.
A return from hiatus
The Carling Knockout Cup's journey has had its fair share of ups and downs. The 2020/21 edition was cancelled due to the loss of its main sponsor.
Later, in August 2021, it was announced that the tournament would no longer be held due to fixture congestion.
However, South African football fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the competition made a triumphant return in the 2023/24 season.
This revival was made possible through a new sponsorship deal with Carling Black Label.
The tournament kicked off with a bang on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, with a riveting clash between TS Galaxy and Mamelodi Sundowns, setting the stage for an action-packed season.
Carling Knockout Cup past winners
The history of the Carling Knockout Cup is not complete without acknowledging its past winners.
Kaizer Chiefs, one of South Africa's football giants, stands as the most successful team in the competition's history, having clinched the title a remarkable 13 times.
Their last victory came in 2010, and their fans are undoubtedly hoping for another triumphant campaign.
Mamelodi Sundowns follow as the second most successful team, boasting four championship titles. They were the last team to lift the cup before the four-year hiatus.
|Club||Wins||First Final Won||Most Recent Final Won|
|Ajax Cape Town||2||2000||2008|
|Umtata Bush Bucks||2||1993||1996|
|Cape Town City||1||2016||2016|
|Durban Bush Bucks||1||1987||1987|
The most successful clubs in the history of the Carling Knockout or official League Cup with two or more trophies
🏆x 13 – Kaizer Chiefs
🏆x 4 – Mamelodi Sundowns
🏆x 3 – Bidvest Wits
🏆x 2 – Ajax Cape Town
🏆x 2 – Jomo Cosmos
🏆x 2 – Platinum Stars
🏆x 2 – Umtata Bush Bucks pic.twitter.com/xGp0SugRny
— South African football unfiltered (@SouthUnfiltered) October 10, 2023
Carling Knockout Cup prize money revealed
One of the most exciting aspects of the Carling Knockout Cup is the significant prize money on offer.
The league has announced that the winning team will walk away with a hefty R 6,600,000, in addition to a R 250,000 participation fee.
This substantial sum is bound to motivate teams to give their all on the pitch.
For the losing finalist, there's still a handsome R 2,600,000 to be earned, making it a lucrative competition for those who reach the final stages.
The four semifinalists will each win R 1,100,000 for their efforts.
Even teams that don't make it to the final stages have much to gain.
Each of the 16 teams will receive R 600,000 upon reaching the quarter-final stage and R 300,000 for making it to the last 16.
This not only rewards their journey but also incentivizes the smaller teams to compete at their best.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago