The 2020 Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge has been officially cancelled, in line with government directives that limit large gatherings to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The month-long tournament, hosted by the Soweto Football Association in partnership with Discovery, has delivered professional players such as Mamelodi Sundowns striker Sibusiso Vilakazi, Banyana Banyana and SD Eibar striker Thembi Kgatlana, Banyana Banyana and Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Andile Dlamini and Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain, Thulani Hlatshwayo.
“Every year, we look forward to this event as a powerful platform to promote local sports, encourage active lifestyles, and give young soccer stars a chance to compete,” says Head of Experiential Marketing at Discovery, Iona Maclean. “However, given Discovery’s core purpose to enhance and protect lives, we have a responsibility to take appropriate and necessary precautions, and cancel this year’s tournament.”
The Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge plays a significant role in developing soccer in South Africa, adds SAFA Joburg Region and Soweto Football Association chairperson Phil Mogodi.
“We value its ability to bring communities together in a soccer festival where everyone is inspired to take part in sport. So despite the disruption to this year’s event, we urge all soccer players, fans and families to keep playing, keep training, and keep moving – safely and in line with national health recommendations,” he continues. “We anticipate a strong return next year, so stay fit and safe until then!”
The Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge generally kicks off in December, and 2020 would have been its 18th edition.