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Khabba Cup Praised By Lekoelea, Calls For TV Coverage

  • June 10, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Khabba Cup Praised By Lekoelea, Calls For TV Coverage

Former Orlando Pirates star Steve Lekoelea lauded the growth of the Khabba Cup, urging television broadcasters to get involved.

The Khabba Cup, held over two days in Durban’s Umlazi, culminated in a final at King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday. Lekoelea attended the event, playing in a legends game to support his long-time friend Manqoba Mkhize, the tournament’s founder since 2022.

To make it nice, all the teams were kitted by reputable sports brand Joma Sports which is headed by Mpho Mngomezulu.

Two For Joy emerged victorious, claiming the R120,000 prize money after defeating Star Pirates in a penalty shootout at King Zwelithini Stadium. Star Pirates, featuring Thabo Cele and Samkelo Mgwazela, settled for the R50,000 runner-up prize.

“This is the third edition,” Lekoelea told Sportswire. “But the tournament keeps getting bigger every year. In five years, this will be one of the best, and I’m sure we’ll see it on TV someday.”

Lekoelea, a former skillful player who won two league titles with Soweto giants Orlando Pirates, added, “This is the best tournament in South Africa right now, and it’s clearly growing. What I like most is how it brings business to the community. Many people are selling food here, which is great for the Khabba Cup.

“It’s not just about Manqoba; it’s about the community too. Running a tournament like this is excellent marketing.”

Lekoelea’s friendship with Manqoba Mkhize dates back to their time together at the 1997 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Malaysia. Shakes Mashaba’s South Africa finished second from bottom in Group B, drawing with South Korea but losing to Brazil (2-0) and France (4-2). The French side, managed by the late Gerard Houllier, boasted future stars like Thierry Henry and Patrick Trezeguet, who scored twice in that match. South Africa’s squad included Junaid Hartley, Benni McCarthy, Stanton Fredericks, Patrick Mbuthu, Matthew Booth, Emile Baron, and Daniel Matsau.

“I met Manqoba at the U-20s under Shakes Mashaba,” said Lekoelea, who was known as Steve Motsiri back then. “We’ve known each other for a long time now. When a friendship goes beyond that, it becomes more like family. I consider Manqoba family because of our long history in football. I still have that spirit, and I’m happy for him. He’s created a fantastic initiative here in Durban. Everyone enjoys watching this growing tournament.”

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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