Soccer tournament held to launch new company

Alaska FC players and their coach before the game. They won by three goals but were disqualified for allegedly cheating on the age group.

A Vosloorus-based company Sports Eclipse organised a two-day u-15 soccer tournament called Sports Eclipse Soccer Tournament at Vosloorus Sports Ground. The tournament started on Thursday, December 1.

According to Nthabiseng Mokhele, the owner of Sports Eclipse, the company deals with sports development and sports management in the townships.

Mokhele said 12 teams from around Kathorus participated in the tournament.

“In order to get to the semi-finals, we divided the 12 teams into four groups. Each group consisted of three teams. The team that occupied the top spot in each group qualified to play in the semi-final,” said Mokhele.

In the first semi-final, Luck Birds FC, who topped group A, took on Simunye FC, who occupied top spot in Group B. That game was won by Luck Birds by two goals to nil.

In the second semi-final, Alaska FC, the winners of Group C, played against the winners of Group D, All Blacks. Alaska won by six goals to nil.

Alaska FC and Lucky Birds FC went on to play in the finals. Alaska won by three goals to nil but were disqualified for alleged cheating on age. As a result the first prize went to Lucky Birds FC.

According to Lucky Birds FC coach, Muzi Mbuyisa, two players from Alaska FC were over the required age (15).

“I suspected that there was age-cheating a long time before the game started, and I requested the officials to produce proof that the players in question were really the under 15, but no one listened. After the game I went back to the officials to lay a complaint again. The coaches of the opposite team (Alaska) failed to produce the proof that the players were really under 15 and that is when they were disqualified,” said Mbuyisa.

According to Boldwin Mabuya, the coach of Alaska FC, the argument started after they scored the first goal.

“I told the officials that we must not only check proof of the players in question, but all the players in the field because I suspected the same with some of the players from Lucky Birds FC but the game continued. After we had won the game, the argument started again and we were disqualified. I feel bad because this will affect my boys. If we had stopped the game when the first argument arose, it would have been better,” said Mabuya.

According to Mpho Kau, the co-owner of Sport Eclipse, even though there were problems at the end of the tournament they achieved what they wanted to.

“To me everything went well. I am happy especially with the turnout and the participation of teams.

“In five years from now, we want to see the professionalism and management in sports grow. We would like to see coaches and referees growing to another level.

“We would like the teams in the township to be run in a professional way,” said Kau.

Jabu Nkosi, one of the organisers, praised the teams for responding well.

“This was our first tournament. We were expecting at least eight teams but we ended up with 12 teams participating in the tournament. We started with the u-15s this year. Next year we will include u-13 and u-17 as well. And it will take the whole week, not two days,” said Nkosi.

The first prize was a trophy, gold medals and team jerseys. The second prize was silver medals and team jerseys.

According to Mokhele the silver medals were not given away.

“The team that was supposed to get the second prize was involved in age-cheating so the second prize was not given away,” said Mokhele.

Aaron Damane

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