ORGANISERS of the Arenel National Association of Schools Heads (Nash) Under-17 football tournament have said they will be very strict in their vetting process, adding that they will not tolerate age-cheating.
BY HENRY MHARA
The tournament’s national finals are on this weekend starting on Saturday at Prince Edward in Harare where 10 provincial winners would join the hosts and defending champions Mavhuradona of Mashonaland Central to fight for top honours.
And ahead of what promises to be an exciting weekend for schools football, tournament director Mwandibhuya Mutepfa has warned participating schools against age-cheating.
Age fraud or manipulation of documents is rife in schools and other age group tournaments, but Mutepfa said they would apply stringent and comprehensive systems to make sure only eligible players participated.
“We have very strict measures in place to make sure that only those qualified will play. This is a tournament for the 17 years and under, and we want to see only those playing. Our vetting process will be very thorough and the punishment for the offenders will be severe, including suspension of a school for a certain period,” Mutepfa said.
“Some of the requirements include a long birth certificate, national ID and a team photo which should include the head of the school so that in case we find out that the school has cheated, the headmaster should take responsibility.”
The tournament is sponsored to the tune of $152 000.
Mutepfa said preparations for the tournament were well on course with all provincial representatives expected in Harare tomorrow morning ahead of the vetting process which takes place later in the afternoon.
Harare Province, who are the hosts, will field two teams, Prince Edward, who are the host schools, and provincial winners Marlborough.
Mashonaland Central also have two representatives in defending champions Mavhuradona and provincial winners Dotito.
The two-day tournament will kick off on Saturday morning with tough matches expected especially in Group A which has been dubbed the Group of Death.
The group is made up of hosts Prince Edward, Chemhanza and Manunure. Mavhuradona are in Group C together with Umzingwane and Gaza of Matabelaland South and Manicaland provinces respectively.
Group A: Manunure, Prince Edward, Chemhanza
Group B: Marlborough, Mzilikazi, Chibi
Group C: Gaza, Umzingwane, Mavhuradonha
Group D: Dotito, Mos-a-tunya, St Francis