'School soccer team fields player who is not a pupil'
EISH: School soccer - 'The pupil could not answer some of the simple questions related to the school he purported to attend'
The 2012 Metropolitan SASFA Under-16 Cup national finals kicked off at King Zwelithini Stadium, Durban, this week - but only 17 of the original complement of 18 teams will now contest the annual national schools championship.
One of the Free State qualifiers, Setjhabasemaketse Secondary School, was summarily expelled from the tournament today, two days into the tournament, on account of attempting to field a player who is not a registered pupil at the school, as the rules state.
“It was discovered during one of the many random checks that take place during the tournament. A certain pupil could not answer some of the simple questions related to the school he purported to attend,” Isaac Arendse, National Technical Director of SASFA, said in a statement.
“At a disciplinary hearing on Thursday, the team was disqualified and the school forfeited all points. The player and coach in question were sent home”.
“SASFA has a zero tolerance policy towards any form of cheating, as it denies opportunities to legitimate participants, as well as affording an unfair advantage to the dishonest team,” he added.
The organisation said that 'for logistical reasons', the remaining members of the Setjhabasemaketse Secondary School contingent would stay on in Durban as spectators.
Metropolitan sponsorship manager Jennifer Padayachee endorsed SASFA’s stance, saying: "This event is one of the cornerstones of youth development football in the country.
"The importance of integrity and honesty cannot be overstated and any transgressions of these principles will be dealt with in the strongest possible terms."
The matter has been referred to both SAFA and the Department of Education, which could yield further consequences for the offenders.
The finals of the Metropolitan SASFA Under-16 Cup will be played on Saturday 6 October at King Zwelithini Stadium. Kick-off is at 18h00.