By Manja Manja
SPACE AGE FC won the first prize of the Sanlam Easter Football Tournament when they beat Black Hawks by 2 goals to 1 in a scintillating tournament which started on Friday April 10 to Monday April 13 at Katima Mulilo Sports Complex.
Space Age’s goals came through Vincent Kashuwa and Kapelwa Simataa respectively to win the trophy at the finals while Black Hawks registered a goal through Aldrin Mubu although it was not good enough to defeat rival team Space Age.
As the First Prize winner, Space Age went away with a trophy and N$4,000.00 cash, new Sanlam jerseys and 15 gold medals.
There were 16 football teams registered in this round-robbing tournament making four groups but there was no fourth prize, which disadvantaged one team which made it to the semi-finals.
However, Mubu’s single goal ensured that Black Hawks walked away with the Second Prize which was N$2,500.00 cash, new football jerseys, and 15 silver medals.
Green Eagles FC played and won against Caprivi Stars who were said to be frustrated and thus took the third prize. Caprivi Stars did not finish their game against Green Eagles because of the controversy around the non-allocation of the Fourth Prize.
Although they played what seemed to be a tough game against Green Eagles, Caprivi Stars gave up part of the game and thus allowed Green Eagles to go away with Third Prize of N$1,000.00 cash and 15 bronze medals.
A team member of the Caprivi Stars defended his players for surrendering during play saying they did not get enough time to rest after the game against Hawks, adding that only 20 minutes had passed after the game against Hawks before they were asked to play against Green Eagles.
He said most of the time was consumed by arguments with the organising committee about the Fourth Prize.
He said despite efforts by Caprivi Stars management to share the N$1,000.00 Third Prize cash because runners up should not go empty handed according to tournament rules the team lost the same way as other teams that had not reached the quarter finals.
According to Shaun Mwilima, a former sports officer in Caprivi region who is a member of Caprivi Stars management,“what happened was very bad as it had never happened in the sports world.“They did not follow FIFA or NFA tournament rules because of ignorance and favouritism.
He accused the organising committee of contradicting sports rules by allowing an individual to take all decisions. “It is not only Caprivi Stars as a club that was not dissatisfied with that tournament but all sports loving people who closely watched the tournament including possible sponsors” said Mwilima.
He further informed Caprivi Vision Sports that some companies were willing to sponsor tournaments in the Caprivi Region soon but were discouraged by the organisation of the previous tournament, citing BobCoak Powerline where he is an administrator.
“My manager was also watching the tournament closely but was disappointed and discouraged” said Mwilima.
But he was quick to admit that the final game was played fairly well with the expertise of an internationally recognised NFA referee, Tiyeho Simataa.
Meanwhile another tournament is expected soon to be sponsored by NedBank.