The announcement of the new pre-season friendly showdown between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns has been met with some pessimism and confusion from football fans at large.
The event – run by SMSA and sponsored by Shell Helix – will not be replacing the Carling Black Label Cup fixture between Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, but the two will instead coexist.
However, with the Soweto Derby pre-season fixture canned this year due to the FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Shell Helix Ultra Cup is set to take centre-stage at the FNB Stadium in July.
“The fixture will be about strength vs strength. There’s no funny things – no choosing of teams, choosing of players in and choosing of players out,” explained Grobbelaar.
“Our tournament is all about pre-season and proper warm-up matches for the season lying ahead. It’s something we believe the teams, ourselves and Shell will take very seriously.
“The SMSA tournament will exclusively be played at the FNB Stadium, and has been provisionally agreed to on a three-year basis with an option to extend for a further period.”
With fans still hurt over the discontinuation of the Telkom Charity Cup in 2010, which featured four clubs as voted for by the public via telephone, SMSA plan to include two more teams in their own tournament that is set to span four months.
“For the first three years, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs will play exclusively against each other in the first clash of the SMSA tournament,” Grobbelaar added.
“This first clash will be known as the Shell Helix Ultra Cup, and they will play for a prestigious cup which will be a floating trophy every year between these two teams.
“We are not going to change the teams around – the Shell Helix Ultra Cup will always be played between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns.
“The tournament will in future include a second fixture between two other clubs, and we will announce at an appropriate time who those teams are.
“We have already finalised the third club and I am in the process of finalising the fourth club, after which we will make it known who will play in the second clash.
“And then we will have a final. Now, the second clash will probably be in September, with the final probably in October this year.”