Pupils upset over age ban from football tourney

2011-03-11 00:00

SOME pupils at local schools who were supposed to participate in the Danone under 12 Umgungundlovu District football championship were disappointed when the organisers refused to let them play because they look older than 12 years old.

Three players from WA Lewitt Primary School in Northdale said they felt let down when they were told they could not compete because they are physically bigger than the required age.

Mzomuhle Ximba (12), in grade 7 at WA Lewitt, said, “It was very painful for me to lose out on a chance to play in this tournament because this is my last year in primary school.

“I had been preparing for this tournament only to be told that I would not be participating because I look old.”

His school-mates, Phumlani Ngobese and Siyabonga Mthembu, both in grade 6, said they wished they could have helped their school win, instead of watching it lose.

Their teacher and the team manager, Raveen Mohanlall said, “It is very, very sad that my boys have been humiliated in this manner when they had prepared hard for this tournament. It is also unfortunate that the organisers used their personal discretion to dispute these boys’ ages.”

The organisers refused their offer to produce their birth certificates. “My boys were refused participation simply because they are physically bigger than some of the players.

“These boys are my best players and this had interfered with my plans for the tournament,” Mohanlall added.

The organisers, who refused to give their names, said they were trying to protect 12-year-olds from competing with boys who are older and that they cannot rely on birth certificates because people have been known to falsify their particulars.

Said one of the organisers, “We have chased a lot of boys that do not look like they are 12 years old because we do not want a situation whereby a player sustains an injury because he had been tackled badly by someone who is older than them.”




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