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Selonga High to defend title

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Selonga High School in Matabeleland South will have another chance to prove themselves in the Copa Coca-Cola Girls’ Championships provincial finals following their unceremonious exit last year at the national finals.

Ten schools in Matabeleland South have so far qualified for the Copa Coca-Cola Under 16 girls’ championship to be held at Manama High School on July 11 and 12. The national finals will be in Victoria Falls on July 27-29.

Last year, Selonga were the provincial champions but were disqualified at the national finals for using an over-aged player.

The head in charge of soccer in Matabeleland South, Paulos Ncube, said Selonga had not been fined but said all schools had been warned on age cheating.

“Last year we had a problem of age cheating but this year all the schools have been warned on what they stand to lose if they cheat. We are going to vet the children the usual way and weed out those that we think are not of the correct age,” he said.

Ncube said if a team was caught cheating this year they would be fined $500 per player and suspended for two years from the competition.

Some of the schools that have qualified for the provincial finals in the include Phakamani, Dombodema, Nswazi, Gwanda Government, Manama, St Sebastian, Selonga, Malungudzi and Filabusi.

Meanwhile, the province has also completed the boys’ district competitions of the same championship.

Ten schools were then selected to take part in the provincial finals, which will also take place at Manama High School.

Schools that will compete include Phakamani, Tshelanyemba, Mzingwane, Nswazi, Sabiwa, Dombodema, Malungudzi, Manama, Selonga and Nkankezi.

The Copa Coca-Cola championships are held each year on a rotational basis in each province. The competition is a platform to identify soccer talent for future national teams.

The girls’ competition was inaugurated last year and held at Gifford High school.

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