The big question remains before the final. Will Qomu be allowed to play?
The new football rivalry that was created as a result of a bitter split of United Brothers FC and the formation of Junior United FC before the start of the 2018/19 season is about to renewed in the final of Protea Car Wash tournament today Eziphunzini Ground, Mkhondo at 12pm. The two teams reached the final after winning all their games which included two semi final matches where they knocked out two teams from Eziphunzini (Izilwane and Roman FC) to set up the Nkonjaneni derby final.
There is no love lost between the two clubs coming from the same area. Fans should expect a nail-biting and unpredictable final. The two clubs have not met each other in official competitions since the formation of Junior United FC. The Mkhondo LFA split them into stream A&B in Thandukukhanya Promotion League to control the rivalry after Junior United was formed. It is also not clear if Siphosakhe "Qomu" Sangweni will play in the final after he was violently taken off the field on Saturday while playing for United Brothers FC against Abangazi XI where they won 4-2 on Saturday to proceed to the semi-finals. There was drama when Qomu was forced off the field by members of his family which included her mother. To say he was forced out is an understatement, he was violently taken out and slapped by her mother for playing for the ‘wrong’ team.
The four women arrived and watched the game from the west side of the field asking if it was Junior United FC playing after seeing him on the field. Someone in the crowd shouted that it was United Brothers FC. They then went around the field until they reached the United Brothers bench on eastern side of the field. They asked the coach to take Qomu out of the field. When the coach refused they took matter into own hands and entered the field to dragged him out. He tried to resist but the women meant business as they began stripping him of the jersey and throwing rocks at him telling to go out of the field. The game stopped and Qomu was substituted. The women insisted that Qomu is a Junior United player and they (United Bros) must leave him alone.
"I treat my players like my children and give them love. This is why his mother wants her son to play in the club but if he wants to leave, no problem but they must buy him,"
We spoke to Junior United FC coach who also witnessed the incident. We asked him about the status of the player of which he said he was still a Junior United player. "He still belong to Junior United FC unless they buy him out like I did when the player moved from Citizen FC. He did not tell me he wants to move away from the club. I also did not call the mother but she did it on her own because she knows the relationship I have with my players. I treat my players like my children and give them love. This is why his mother wants her son to play in the club but if he wants to leave, no problem but they must buy him," he said.
Qomu is an eighteen (18) year old versatile player who was developed by Mkhondo’s number one development coach Sandile Kunene of Citizen FC before he was poached by Themba 'Kisky' Kunene to play for United Brothers. The player can lay all positions in the field except for the goalkeeper position. His best position is central defence. United Brothers said they were using the player for the off season tournament, something they had agreed with Junior United manager Mr Kunene. United Brothers coach Mthokozisi Khumalo said he will play the player in the final against Junior United FC. “The boy told us that he wants to play and we fielded him plus Junior United FC entered the tournament late. We did not know they were going to be part of the tournament until the very last minute. So we will play him in the final but if they start fighting then we will take him out to avoid problems,” he said.
Today when the final kick off at 12pm the stakes will be very high, higher than the main prizes that have been set up by the sponsors of the tournament. The sponsors Protea Car Wash provided a live sheep, gold medals and a champion’s trophy as a prize for winning the tournament. The two sides will be playing for the prizes and their own pride. The venue is perfect for both fans of the clubs because Nkonjaneni is closer to Eziphunzini where they can take a 10 minute walk to the neutral ground.