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Provinces
Dec 3 2012 3:36PM
 
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Liezelle Kumalo

A Limpopo Football Club pulled out of a tournament at the weekend because of alleged racism.

The Mokopane Young Boys FC, a community-based football team in Mokopane, Limpopo, withdrew their participation from the tournament because their black players were allegedly not allowed to play.

“When we arrived on Saturday to play we were approached by the tournament committee who said that they have received a complaint by another team against us for featuring black players in their squad.

“We were told that we can still play but only if our two black players do not participate,” Mohseen Hansrod, manager of the team, said.

Hansrod said the organisers allegedly begged them to play after they withdrew their participation.

“We were told that all the teams had to leave their black players at home and that the message was communicated verbally.

“I told them that we were not told and if we were we would not have agreed to participate but they begged us because we were part of the opening fixture, we played and lost on penalties after the game we agreed that we cannot participate further,” he said.

A player of the team, Yusuf Kazembe said it became apparent during the match that blacks were not welcome.

“While we were playing the other team was protesting against us. While they were protesting our team decided that it’s all right we won’t play

“The other teams were complaining against black players in the game,” Kazembe said.

However, one of the tournament organisers, Sarfaraaz Nagdee, denied that they did not allow black players to participate in the tournament.

“That is not true, where did you get your information from. We don’t have a Mokopane team in our tournament,” he responded when asked about the allegations.

This is despite the fact that the Young Boys team showed proof of payment and participation in the tournament.

The Greater Mayfair Local Football Association (of which Azaadville is an affiliate) general secretary, Abdul Dajee said: “I heard through the grapevine that they did not allow black professional players to participate in the tournament. However, if they did not allow black amateurs players to play then we will take up the matter with them.”

A Safa spokesperson said: “This issue has not yet come to our attention and if a complaint is brought to Safa, the issue will be thoroughly investigated. And if there is any semblance of truth about the aforementioned allegations then this team has no place in new South Africa.”

liezellek@thenewage.co.za

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