Yanga pay huge price for disappearing act

Sello Rabothata

Sello Rabothata

Amateur football teams in the townships are known to engage in disappearing acts once they realise their chances in any competition have all but evaporated.

Coaches and club managers find themselves in the lurch with players not bothering to turn up for what they view as "friendly" games as soon as the big one is out of reach.

But, it was surprising for such an act to happen during the Cecafa Club Championships for East and Central Africa, also known as the Kagame Inter-Club Cup, last weekend.

Tusker went all the way to the final, which was played at the new National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

They beat Tanzanian giants Young Africans 1-0 in the semifinal.

Last year's finalists URA beat Simba SC 1-0 in the other semifinal to set up a final date with Tusker.

After losing to Tusker in the semifinals Young Africans failed to pitch for the third-place playoff and thus Simba SC were awarded third spot.

With that Cecafa banned Young Africans (also known as Yanga) from taking part in the next three editions of the tournament.

The Tanzania Football Federation further extended the punishment with a two-year ban from CAF tournaments.

This means even though Yanga are the 2007-08 Tanzanian league champions, they will not take part in the 2009 CAF Champions League.

These games and other highlights will be screened on the African Soccer Television show on SABC1 Sport's Laduma programme on Sunday.