Keagan Dolly receiving his man of the match award

Carling Cup defends fan vote for R100,000 Man of the Match 

Home » Carling Cup defends fan vote for R100,000 Man of the Match 

 Carling Knockout Cup organisers are determined to keep the fan vote for Man of the Match, despite critics who say it’s just a popularity contest.

The newly formed competition started last week and it has several unique and new features, including fan voting for the Man of the Match, goal prediction, and player and coach voting for a select team that will face the cup winners early next year.

The fan vote for Man of the match has gotten off to a rocky start. In the first round of matches, several popular players from big-name teams won the R100,000 prize, even though they weren’t the best players on the field and their teams lost.

Chiefs star Keagan Dolly’s surprise win of the Man of the Match award in his side’s 1-0 defeat to AmaZulu FC on Saturday raised eyebrows, with some arguing that Orlando Pirates’ Thembinkosi Lorch, who played his first game of the season after returning from injury, only won it because of his popularity with fans.

Former Pirates player Ndumiso Mabena was named Man of the Match in Polokwane City’s 4-1 hammering of SuperSport United on Sunday, despite Oswin Appollis scoring a goal and producing two assists.

Andile Jali receiving the man of the match award  Carling Knockout Cup

Hlasiyi Chauke scored a brace in the match, while Mabena provided one assist to Appollis. In addition, Cape Town City’s Khanyisa Mayo also won the Man of the Match award, despite his team losing 3-1 to Golden Arrows.

Former Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns star Andile Jali also won the award, even though his Moroka Swallows team losing 2-1 to Richards Bay FC. However Carling Black Label brand director Arné Rust insists this is a good innovation as it keeps the fans engaged with the cup competition. 


 “We are proud of being able to empower the champions in a way that translates from the field. We are not just rolling the billboards outside the stadium, we are changing the way that the game is being played,” Rust told TimesLIVE.

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“We are proud of that and to work with our partners at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in building on what started with Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, the baby that was born 12 years ago, and is now Carling Knockout Cup.”

“We’ve created a situation where players are being recognised by their fans. Yes, some people are saying it’s a popularity contest and it’s for the bigger teams, but anyone who wants to be part of that change must just vote.

“If Chiefs are playing and you don’t want to see a Chiefs player win, go and watch the match and choose the player you feel deserves to win. You don’t even have to buy a beer [the preseason Carling required a code off a black label beer can or bottle for fans to vote] to choose a man of the match.

“You just dial *120*660# — that’s all you need to do to be a part of choosing the man of the match. “We want the fans to be a part of this and I haven’t seen an award that was entirely unjustified.”

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