By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
At Molepolole Stadium, Botswana
SOUTH African Football teams continued to be Africa’s laughing stock with the national Under-20 team as the latest talk of town. This after Amajita was kicked out of the Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Youth Challenge underway in Botswana.
The team lost 5-1 to Zambia in the last Group C match played here this afternoon. This is for the second time that the team had lost in the first round of this competition which they have won twice after they were ejected in the same way last here during the matches played in Botswana’s Molepolole, Lobatse and the University of Botswana Sports Ground in Gaborone.
Amajita however started their group stage matches on a good note, registering a 4-1 victory over the lowly rated Mauritius in the opening match before they were held to a 1-1 by Tanzania in the second match.
Said the SA team coach, Solly Luvhengo: “The Zambia team was very physical and we also gave them too much space to explore in this match, especially in the second half and we ended up losing the match.”
Luvhengo has also accused Zambia of using over aged players in this tournament which is not fair and does not go in line with football development in the Cosafa region.
“Zambia had brought 18 players in this year’s tournament which is not fair for us as the region. This should come to an end if we have to develop football in our region,” said Luvhengo who added that he did not have a problem as far as the preparations for this competition is concerned because he had a full three weeks to do so.
The SA Football Association however will have to take a blame for this outcome after they unceremoniously appointed Luvhengo to guide the team in this competition while they still have a contracted coach in Maqsood Chenia. As if that was not enough, the association brought in Banyana Banyana coach, Joseph Mkhonza as Luvhengo’s asistant while they knew the latter had to be in the camp with his team in few days. As a results Mkhoza flew back to South Africa to join his team after just spending few days in Botswana and was replaced by Molefi Ntseki during Amajita’s match against Zambia.
Chenia had earlier told Sports Focus that he was not consulted when preparations for this tournament were made, and he learnt from the media that Luvhengo was going to stand in as a coach for the team ahead of him.
In 2009 Chenia who guided Amajita to the final match of this competition which they narrowly lost 1-0 to the same Zambia was sidelined as the team coach which saw Khabo Zondo being appointed. Under Zondo, Amajita went on to be kicked out of the competition in the first round of the Cosafa Cup.
The shame was just the additional of what had transpired earlier after Zondo’s appointment when the team failed to qualify for the African Youth Championships after losing to the lowly rated Lesotho in the qualifying matches.