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Sport - Date: 12 January 2019
Written by: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho / Viewed: 529
In a tournament meant to create a space of entertainment and socialising among residents, one team has been left disgruntled after alleged maladministration on the side of the tournament’s organisers.
The manager of Chris United, Mr Chris Makananise, is accusing the organising committee of the annual Sinthumule/Kutama Soccer Challenge of making ill-considered decisions that affected his team in a tournament where the winners received R15 000.
“It is with displeasure that we are sharing this news with the public, but we have no choice because the competition organisers are not forthcoming with clarity on what rules they apply in taking match decisions during the tournament,” Makananise said.
He then explained that, in the match between Chris United and Magau United, the score was a 1-1 draw. The winning team was to be determined through a penalty shoot-out.
“During the shoot-out, some fans of Magau United got onto the soccer field to attack the referee, because they argued that the referee was biased towards Chris United, which was not true,” he said. “They assaulted the referee and disrupted the game. Fearing for his life, the referee blew the whistle, stopping the match as there was now havoc on the field.”
The representatives from both teams then discussed the issue with the tournament committee, and the committee ruled for a match replay. This decision so infuriated Makananise that he challenged it, saying that, according to available SAFA rules, Magau United should forfeit the match.
“When I asked them where their decision for a match replay came from, they said their tournament had no specific rules,” he said. “The fans of Magau had disrupted the game, and the team needed to be punished accordingly, and the only punishment suitable was match forfeiture.”
Chris United and Magau United went to play the rescheduled match, and Chris beat Magau in a penalty shoot-out. “However, instead of preparing for the semi-final, we had to prepare for a replay, and by the time we went for the actual semi-final, the players were already tired,” he said. “That's why I said the replay cost us an opportunity to win the semi-final and proceed to the final.”
In the semi-final matches, Chris United lost 2-1 to Maila FC, while Matamela FC had lost 1-0 to Zamenkomste. Makananise felt that, according to his understanding and knowledge of the soccer rules, his team came out in position three and not four. He maintained that since his team had a goal (1-2) and Matamela FC had no goal (0-1), his team should be placed third. The tournament organisers, said Makananise, placed Matamela FC in third position “instead of us (Chris United)”.
“I want to know the rules they used to place our team fourth when we knew we were supposed to be in third position,” he said.
The Sinthumule/Kutama Soccer Challenge's spokesperson, Mr Elvis “Parks” Phathela, said that, immediately after the misunderstanding on the field, the referee wanted the game to continue from the penalty retake. However, he added, the referee then reported that Chris United refused to continue with the game. “Due to abandonment of the game by Chris United, we as the tournament organisers then took a decision with both affected teams – Chris United and Magau United – for a replay match,” he said. “In the meantime, we had fined Magau United for disturbing the referee. Both teams were in fact guilty – Magau United for disturbing the referee, and Chris United for refusing for the game to continue.”
Regarding the matter where Chris United felt that they should have been accorded third position in the semi-final, Phathela said Chris United had been beaten 2-1 and Matamela 1-0. “Matamela qualified to be number three and Chris United four,” he said. “After Chris United complained about our decision, we then consulted with other sport committees, who all agreed that our ruling is 100% correct. We've now taken the matter up to Safa for assistance.”
Safa Vhembe's general secretary, Mr Eric Muneri, said that in soccer and match officiation rules no referee or officials just arrived at a decision of saying that a team had forfeited the game because fans had interfered with the referee. “It is not done that simply; there are processes that need to be followed to determine if the forfeiture rule needs to be applied,” he said. “On the second issue, the team that was beaten 1-0 is in a better position when compared to the one being beaten 2-1. So, there's nothing wrong with the ruling that Chris United was given fourth position and the other team third.”
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Mr Chris Makananise.
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.