By: CHRIS TOTOBELA
Local football fans have been treated to far fewer games in recent weeks than what they have become accustomed to. The SAB regional league season is now over but another major contributing factor has been the suspension of a number of teams.
Cameroon, Golden Brothers, Grahamstown United and Santos were all suspended for not honouring their respective fixtures more than three times. One of the suspended team managers, who asked to be anonymous for fear of being victimised, said, “we have been suspended but I still think that this could have been handled better. There are a lot of important things that our executives can start with, for example poor officiating, the deterioration of the standard of football and many other things. Riebeeck City also did not honour a number of games but they escaped suspension, how do you explain that?”
He added that there are many other offences for which teams should be suspended. “Players are playing while under the influence of alcohol and other substances, teams are playing with three or four different colour[ed kits]in one match and there are rules that prohibit that but our executive is selective in terms of enforcing rules”.
The competition’s chairman, Mr Tsotsa who is also deputy chairman of Makana LFA, explained the whole situation. “Yes there have been teams that were suspended and that was done according to the rules. We wrote a letter to these teams after they did not honour two fixtures and warned them that should that happen for the third time they will be dealt with but they still decided not to honour their games again. We had no choice but to suspend them. The Riebeeck City situation is different because their games were halted by us while we were busy dealing with their home and away matter which was later solved.
Tsotsa added that the executives will meet to discuss how the suspensions will affect the competition log. “The teams have a right to appeal and we will have another meeting soon to decide about all the points that were accumulated against the suspended teams. That is all I can say at this stage.”
Despite the controversy surrounding the suspensions, a number of fixtures still took place over the past weekend. Saturday 26 May saw Jacaranda Aces beat Sophia stars by 4-2, while Joza Callies beat Makana pillars 2-0, and Future Stars beat Love & Peace 2-0. On Sunday 27 May, Jacaranda Aces beat Love & Peace 3-0, Joza Callies beat Sophia stars 4-2, Newtown City beat Riebeck City 3-2 and Newseekers beat Makana pillars 3-1.