The finals of Danone Nations Cup ended with disappointment when the final match was postponed after a disagreement between the schools sports committee and one of the schools that qualified for the final game at the Mkhondo School Circuit finals played on Saturday 09 March 2019 at Mandla Magudulela Stadium, Thandukukhanya in Mkhondo.
A handful of seven (7) schools participated in the 2019 edition out of twenty seven (27) schools that had originally showed interest in the tournament. The under 12 schools cup tournament offers a trip overseas to represent South African as the ultimate prize. Group A consisted of Klein Vrystat Primary School, Ndawonye HP School, Khula Combined School and Delfkom Primary School. Group B consisted of only three (3) teams: Imizamo Yethu Primary, Matshamhlophe Primary and Salem Primary School.
The teams were involved in the group stages playing only 2 halves of 10 minute per match but managed to score seventeen (17) goals in nine (9) matches. All matches had goals with the exception of a 0-0 draw between Khula Combined and Delfkom Primary. The biggest scoring match was the 5-0 win by Matshamhlophe Primary against Salem Primary School In group B followed by the 4-0 win by Klein Vrystat defeating Khula Combined at group A. After the conclusion of the group matches Klein Vrystat Primary emerged as group A winner And Imizamo Yethu Primary as group B winner.
“WHERE IS THE OTHER SCHOOL? WE CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO PLAY AGAINST A TEAM THAT HAS ONLY PLAYED TWO (2) GAMES WHEN WE HAVE PLAYED THREE, OUR BOYS ARE TIRED,”
Mkhondo Circuit Danone Nations Cup u12 games played on Saturday 09 March 2019 at Magudulela Stadium, Thandukukhanya. The postponed final match will be played on Wednesday 13 March 2019.
An argument arose after the Mkhondo Circuit Schools committee made an error by recording Klein Vrystat Primary School as having six (6) points together with Ndawonye Primary School after the conclusion of group A matches. The error was pointed out and fixed but it was too late because the Klein Vrystat management was already angry at the organisers. The team refused to play the final match against Imizamo Yethu Primary School because in their own words, “We cannot play the final against a team that has played only two (2) games when we have already played three (3) games in the group stages.” They were referring to the group stages which had four (4) teams in group A and three (3) teams in group B.
According to one of the organisers Mr Baloyi the teams had agreed to the rules at a meeting which they had before playing the first game. “We had a meeting where we decided to play a points system because teams felt that it will be too disappointing to play one match and go back home. The schools agreed to play with four teams in group A and three (3) teams in group B with both winners of the groups qualifying for the final,” said Mr Baloyi. However the team manager from Klein Vrystat said they were told that there would be another school that was going to join the other group but that it did not happen. “Where is the other school? We cannot be expected to play against a team that has only played two (2) games when we have played three, our boys are tired,” he said while telling his players to take off their kit and preparing food for them.
The two schools representatives discussed the matter and agreed to postpone the final to Wednesday 13 March 2019 at midday 12pm at Masenkeni Stadium, Thandukukhanya. The final will be between the hosts Imizamo Yethu Primary against visitors Klein Vrystat Primary School. The winner will qualify for the Gert Sibande Regional finals.