HomeSportSoccerAll set for Benjani football festival

All set for Benjani football festival

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AGE CHEATING will once again come under the spotlight when then annual Benjani Mwaruwari Under-16 Football Tournament roars into life at White City Stadium in Bulawayo this morning.

REPORT BY VITALIS MOYO

The draw was conducted on Thursday and the tournament will kick off with round-robin matches being played in the pool stages while the top two teams will proceed to play in the semi-finals and finals tomorrow.

Bulawayo Junior League chairman Mkhululi Mthunzi gave a stern warning against age cheats.

“I urge all teams that will be participating in the Benjani Mwaruwari Football festival to desist from age cheating as this will not take us anywhere in the development of the sport. This has become common with the juniors, but it is not helping us in any way,” Mthunzi said.

The competition caters for the Under-16 boys teams with those born on, or after January 1, 1998 being eligible to participate with player vetting to be done at the venue before the games kickoff.

The draw saw last year’s finalists Highlanders Academy and the defending champions Bantu Rovers Juniors being seeded alongside the two schools representing National Association of Secondary Schools Heads in the competition CBC and Magwegwe High.

In group A there is Highlanders Academy, Magwegwe High, Iminyela and Street Set while in group B there is Bantu Rovers Juniors, CBC, Luveve Juniors as well as FMH Academy.

The tournament is running for its second year with Bantu Juniors lifting the inaugural cup after they beat Highlanders 1-0 in the final.

Forty-four teams battled it out for the honours in the initial stages of the competition with six teams qualifying for the finals plus another two sides representing Nash also participating in the finals.

The first round of matches will see Magwegwe take on Street Set in the opening match while CBC are up against FMH Academy in groups B’s opening game, Highlanders take on Iminyela while the defending champions Bantu juniors face Luveve Juniors.

The draw was graced by the presence of the PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele who commended their efforts in the development of football at grassroots.

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