The 2011 Vodacom Challenge will see English Premiership giants
Tottenham Hotspur take on Orlando Pirates FC and
Kaizer Chiefs from July 16-23 in a return for one of the most prestigious
international club competitions on the global footballing calendar.
The Vodacom Challenge took a break in 2010 due to the FIFA World CupT, but
is now back to deliver world-class football on behalf of a world-class
Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to reclaim the title they won in 2007,
their last appearance in the competition, while title holders Kaizer Chiefs
will aim for a repeat of their 2009 triumph, when they beat the English side
Manchester City 1-0 in the final.
Such has been the quality of the opposition since its inaugural year in 1999
that the Vodacom Challenge is now among the foremost pre-season competitions
in the world, having also twice hosted European giants Manchester United in
recent years. And the return of Tottenham Hotspur will only add to the
Indeed, the competition is a chance for the best of South Africa to
challenge the best of the rest of the footballing world and provides
thrilling entertainment for fans across the country.
Tottenham Hotspur, who can boast not only two South African’s within their
current squad in Steven Pienaar and Bongani Khumalo, but also the likes of
PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale, as voted for by professional footballers
across England, Dutch maestro Rafael van der Vaart, Croatian playmaker Luka
Modrić, English wing-wizard Aaron Lennon and with the artistry of French
defender, William Gallas.
There is a special relationship between Tottenham Hotspur and South Africa
and the Club has a long-term partnership with SOS Children’s Villages in
South Africa having funded the Tottenham Hotspur House in the SOS Children’s
Village in Rustenburg.
This will be the fourth time that Tottenham Hotspur has been to South
African shores, having first visited the country in 1963 as holders of the
European Cup Winners’ Cup, and then again in 2003 to support South Africa’s
bid for the 2010 FIFA World CupT. After that they made their 2007 appearance
at the Vodacom Challenge.
The 2011 tournament will be a huge celebration of football and once more
organisers have opted to take the matches around the country.
All four match venues for the 2011 Vodacom Challenge were used during the
2010 FIFA World CupT and provide world-class facilities for the players and
The tournament will kick-off at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane when
Kaizer Chiefs take on Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, July 16 (15h00 kick
It is a fitting place to start, given that in the last edition of the
Vodacom Challenge in 2009, Orlando Pirates took on Manchester City at the
old Peter Mokaba Stadium, in the shadow of the new venue as it was still
The action then moves on to the Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on Tuesday,
July 19 (20h15 kick off) as Orlando Pirates meet Tottenham Hotspur in a
repeat of the 2007 Final that was won 3-0 by the visiting English side.
It is the first time that Mbombela will host a Vodacom Challenge match, a
new venue to add to the fantastic arenas that have been used in the past.
The all-important Soweto Derby to determine the finalists to meet Tottenham
Hotspur in the tournament will be played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, July 21 (20h15 kick off).
This year’s Final will be played at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on
Saturday, July 23 (15h00 kick off), where the trophy will be handed to the
winning captain to usher in a new champion of this most prestigious of
international club competitions.
The match will no doubt be an emotional occasion, coming 10 years on from
the tragic events of April 11, 2001, at the then Ellis Park stadium after a
stampede during a Soweto Derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
Tickets for the matches go on sale at the end of May and can be purchased
through Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper with prices
ranging from R50 to R150.
Justin Sampson, the CEO of SAIL, says the Vodacom Challenge is the perfect
way to start the 2011/12 domestic season.
“For us to secure a side of the quality of Tottenham Hotspur to take on our
own South African giants in Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs shows the
tremendous drawing power of the Vodacom Challenge as a competition, and of
South Africa as a footballing destination. The array of attacking talent in
the Tottenham Hotspur side means we will be in for highly-entertaining
football from some of the elite players on the European scene,” Sampson
This year will be the 12th edition of the Vodacom Challenge, sponsored by
Vodacom since its inception.
“The Vodacom Challenge is a crucial part of the South African football
calendar not just because of the quality of the teams on display, but
because it showcases South Africa to the world as a nation with top-class
facilities and a sports-mad public. The competitions lives up to our belief
that Vodacom engages only with the Best of the Best and we are delighted to
once again make the Vodacom Challenge possible in 2011,” says Romeo Kumalo,
Vodacom SA: Executive Director: Commercial.
And once again, the Vodacom Challenge will be used to raise funds to help
give the gift of sight. With the Vodacom Foundation’s ‘Goals for Miracles’
initiative, R150 000 will be donated each time a goal is scored in
regulation time during the tournament to contribute towards free cataract
operations for South African citizens battling with their sight.
Aside from Vodacom as title sponsor, there are also a number of partners to
the event who have expressed their delight at the return of the competition.
“The year 2010 was a great one for South African football with the
successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the Vodacom Challenge
will serve as a continuation of that spirit of unity so true to South
Africans and their football. We at PEP, South Africa’s largest single brand
retail store, are excited about the return of the competition this year and
look forward to seeing our local sides Orlando Pirate and Kaizer Chiefs,
take on the might of Tottenham Hotspur, who of course have enjoyed such a
wonderful season with a fairytale run in the UEFA Champions League,” said
the PEP Marketing Director, Ms Nobesuthu Tom.
Head of SABC Sport, Mr Sizwe Nzimande, says his organisation takes pride in
bringing the Vodacom Challenge to the people.
“We are looking forward to bringing the 2011 Vodacom Challenge into the
homes of millions of South Africans and take those that cannot be at the
stadiums to the heart of the action. Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and
Tottenham Hotspur will provide world-class entertainment and we as broadcast
partners will ensure world-class coverage of the tournament.”
The Gauteng Provincial Government has returned as a partner to the Vodacom
Challenge and it is within this sports-crazy province that the final will be
played at the magnificent Coca-Cola Park stadium.
“Gauteng prides itself on being the Home of Champions in South Africa with
the best facilities in the country and the most passionate fans. We are
honoured to host the 2011 Vodacom Challenge final, and wish our very own
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs the very best in this competition. At the
same time we welcome our English Premiership visitors, Tottenham Hotspur,
and trust that they will enjoy their stay in our province,” said the Gauteng
MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mr Lebogang Maile.
As the Vodacom Challenge will be visiting the Mpumalanga province for the
first time this year, there will be much more for fans to look forward to
besides the football.
“After the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the many visiting teams
that we have had playing in our province during the 2010/11 Premier Soccer
league season, Mbombela is gaining a reputation as one of the top
footballing destinations in the country. With our proximity in neighbouring
countries Mozambique and Swaziland, as well as the Kruger National Park, we
have much to offer football fans and we look forward to welcoming supporters
from Orlando Pirates and Tottenham Hotspur during this year’s Vodacom
Challenge,” said Clr Lassy Chiwayo, Executive Mayor: Mbombela Municipality.
Polokwane returns as a host for the 2011 tournament, giving the people of
the Limpopo province another chance to showcase their hospitality.
“Our hosting of the opening match of the 2009 Vodacom Challenge was a great
success and we are delighted to have the tournament back in our province at
our wonderful new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. We are a destination
that provides a mixture of ancient culture and the great outdoors, and now
we have a world-class stadium that is ready to host two great sides in
Kaizer Chiefs and Tottenham Hotspur,” said Mr Rob Tooly, CEO: Limpopo
Getting fans to the stadium for matches in a safe and timely manner is one
of the cornerstones of providing a good match day experience and the
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) say they are well equipped to
“PRASA is pleased to be part of such an exciting endeavor. As a passenger
rail agency, our focus is in ensuring that we keep South Africans moving and
we become the backbone of public transportation, not only to their places or
work, but as part of all social activities that brings South Africans
together” said Mr Lucky Montana, Group CEO: PRASA.
The Vodacom Challenge was first played in 1999 and for the first seven
tournaments featured Chiefs and Pirates against teams from the rest of
Africa. But since 2006, the visitors to the competition have been from the
Pirates have won the competition on two previous occasions in 1999 and 2005,
while Kaizer Chiefs have five wins to their name in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006
and 2009 respectively. Of the visiting teams to have triumphed, Democratic
Republic of Congo sides St Eloi Lupopo (2002) and AS Vita (2004) have won,
as well as Tottenham Hotspur (2007) and Manchester United (2008).
2011 VODACOM CHALLENGE FIXTURES:
Sat, July 16 Kaizer Chiefs v Tottenham Hotspur – Peter Mokaba
Stadium, Polokwane (3pm)
Tues, July 19 Orlando Pirates v Tottenham Hotspur – Mbombela Stadium,
Thu, July 21 Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates – Nelson Mandela Bay
Stadium, Port Elizabeth (8.15pm)
Sat, July 23 Derby Winner v Tottenham Hotspur – Coca-Cola Park,