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Now proud to be Pirates

By unknown | Aug 14, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Nthabisang Moreosele

Nthabisang Moreosele

Mama Angel went behind bars last week to give a little cheer to those penned inside.

Walter Mogase, marketing manager of the Pirates team in the Johannesburg Prison, wrote to Mama Angel saying his team did not have a proper kit - so Mama obliged.

We were received warmly by the sports, recreation, arts and culture coordinator Sam Mbatha.

The inmates league runs from January to November, with four knockout tournaments.

"This is the maximum section of the prison and the sport keeps them calm and helps with rehabilitation," Mbatha said.

He said the league was extremely popular and there were never less than 500 spectators at a match. New inmates are assessed the moment they enter Sun City to see if they have the skills to contribute to the soccer teams.

"This is a professional league," Mbatha said. "The players have contracts, transfers are negotiated and it follows Fifa rules. Each club has a coach on contract.

"This is a cashless community but there is a points system that fans use to buy players from other clubs. There is also a referees' association that Safa is helping to train."

The "Big Four" clubs inside are Sundowns, SuperSport, Real Madrid and FC AK.

"When SuperSport and Real play the entire prison population watches the match."

Surprisingly, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs have poor fan bases.

"Perhaps now that Mama Angel has donated a strip to Pirates, they will attract more fans. We are thankful for this morale booster," Mbatha said.

The other clubs in the league are Amazulu, Celtic, Argentinos, Wits, Swallows and Spurs. The prison also has other sporting codes that include karate, boxing, pool and table tennis.


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