Amajita coach blames age-cheating

2011-12-07 07:25

Instead of admitting failure after South Africa’s dismal performance against Zambia at the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Championships, a coach has blamed age-cheating.

South African soccer’s downward spiral continued in Botswana with the Under-20’s first round exit.

Amajita, who last won this tournament three years ago, bombed out with a 5-1 annihilation by Zambia in a game that they needed to win at the Molepolole Sports Complex yesterday.

This is the second time South Africa has flopped in the last eight months in regional competitions having hit the deck in the CAF African Youth Championships in April – which subsequently ended the country’s hopes for a Fifa U-20 World Cup qualification.

Worse, the team has had three coaches – Khabo Zondo, Maqsood Chenia and now Solly Luvhengo – in a space of a year.

Instead of admitting failure, Luvhengo went as far as alleging that some players in the tournament were age-cheaters.

“Age cheating is staring us in the eye and some of their players (Zambia) were born in 1994 and 1995 – how can a 14-year-old win an under-20 tournament?”

But his Zambian counterpart, Keagan Mumba, hit back saying his players always graduate to the senior national team and it was the organisers’ duty to help curb age-cheating.

“Players must graduate in tournaments such as the under-20 competition. I have two players who are already being introduced to the senior team.”
Zambia are the defending champions of Cosafa having successfully defended the title here last year.

The victory today pushed the junior Chipolopolo into Thursday’s semifinals.

Meanwhile, Luvhengo said after the match that his appointment was made permanent and his mandate was to qualify Amajita for the 2013 under-20 continental tournament.

The qualifiers start at the end of February.

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