Festive football feast on the table for fans

KNOCKOUT: Safa's Phil 'Chippa' Mogodi. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 01/06/2006. © Sowetan.
KNOCKOUT: Safa's Phil 'Chippa' Mogodi. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 01/06/2006. © Sowetan.

Ramatsiyi Moholoa and Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Ramatsiyi Moholoa and Mcelwa Nchabeleng

It's that time of the year when South Africans with a passion for soccer development are spoiled for choice in terms of the festive season competitions.

Various townships and villages are a hive of activities with development tournaments renowned for having unearthed some of the household names.

Some of the current professional players are expected to take part from this weekend, but they plead with the organisers not to publish their names.

Professional and semi-professional players are barred from playing in these tournament by their respective clubs to avoid sustaining injuries, since the tournaments are not insured.

In Soweto, the yearly Discovery Walter Sisulu tournament is under way at the Safa Pimville-Klipspruit Development Centre.

Phil "Chippa" Mogodi, Safa Soweto chief executive, said the games started on December 3 and will end on December 29.

"We have 16 Under-17, five women's and 40 seniors [men's] clubs participating. In fact, we will be starting with knockout stages on Sunday," said Mogodi

In Daveyton, the popular Ibhola Lethu started on December 15 at Sinaba Stadium with the finals scheduled for December 30.

Kgatis'i "Last Born" Ngoetjana, tournament director, said: "There are 54 clubs competing. The support we've been getting from the community is awesome."

Tembisa is playing host to the Philly's Goodwill Games at various venues in the township this year as part of the organisers' plans to take the sport to the people.

The games started on December 15 and the final will be played on December 30.

"We thought it would be better to change the format a bit by taking the games to venues like Esiqogwene and Esangweni grounds," said organiser Bheki Zondo.

They will still use Mehlareng Stadium.

Twenty-four clubs in the under-15s, 17s and open divisions are battling it out in the tournament, which reached the last 16 stage yesterday.

"There are also the masters where people like Jerry Sikhosana, Marcus Mphafudi, Johannes Shilli and Samson Molefe are on display," said Zondo.

Katlehong and Evaton are also buzzing.

In Limpopo, the yearly Pul-Mac Soccer Challenge is under way at GaSetati in Moletjie, with 16 clubs taking part. The final will be played on December 27.

The Mighty Blues tournament at Ditenteng sports grounds in Moletjie, Limpopo, has reached the quarterfinal stage.

There are also tournaments in Thohoyandou, GaMathabatha and Sekhukhune