Rainbow tournament kicks off

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Ithemba Labantu FC players from Philippi celebrate after scoring against Majantja FC (Blackheath) during the tournament on Saturday 13 February. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE
Ithemba Labantu FC players from Philippi celebrate after scoring against Majantja FC (Blackheath) during the tournament on Saturday 13 February. PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

The Rainbow Soccer Tournament finally kicked off on Friday 12 February at Vuyiseka Sports Complex in Philippi. At least 32 teams are participating in this year’s tournament.

The teams taking part in the contest include those from Philippi, Crossroads, Lower Crossroads, Mfuleni, Gugulethu, Strand, Kraaifontein, Blackheath, Samora Machel, Mitchell’s Plain and Du Noon among other areas. The final will be played at Vuyiseka on Saturday 27 February.

The tournament was expected to be played early this year, but was delayed because of the nationwide lockdown. The matches are divided and played at Vuyiseka and Brown’s Farm Stadium.

The event’s organiser Brian Matiwane said the tournament had been long overdue. But, he said, the lockdown gave ample time in which to prepare for it.

“We started the tournament in 2019. And this one is magnificent and the crowd is overwhelming. The number of teams participating is growing every year.”

Matiwane added that 28 teams participated last year’s tournament. He said the main purpose of organising such an event is to unite all the teams, particularly in the metro. “This year there are new teams from Kraaifontein and Strand. We were also invited a team from Paarl, but it couldn’t make it due to transport issues. As amateur football clubs most of us are facing similar challenges, and by having such tournaments we are trying to build a bond and be able to share our problems.”

The tournament compliance officer Mthuthuzeli Bomali described the tournament as a curtain raiser for the league season.

“Possibly the league will start after Easter holidays,” he said. “By having these pre-season tournaments we are trying to prepare for the opening of the league.”

Bomali added it will depend on whether the government will impose further regulations.

First prize – R10 000, a soccer kit, trophy and gold medals. Second prize – R2 400 and silver medals. Third prize – R3 500 and bronze medals. Fourth place R2 500.

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