The inaugural champions of Mkhondo Club Development Games HiFi FC won the trophy for the second time when they defeated the PR Wanderers FC 5-4 on penalties at the final played at Mandla Magudulela Stadium on Sunday 16 September 2018. The men division featured clubs representing the different Sub LFAs playing under Mkhondo Local Football Association in a nine team tournament in the football category.
HiFi FC cruised into the finals first defeating Thandukukhanya Promotion League 2017/18 stream B champions Home Sweepers FC 3-0 and gave another 3-0 to Rangers FC the champions of Sinethemba Drifontein Promotion League. In the semi-final they met their rivals from Ngema-Dirkiesdorp Promotion League Killers FC. They won 4-3 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 at full time. In the final they met Mkhondo Promotion League 2017/18 champions PR Wanderers FC late on Sunday night after matches had delayed. The two teams were very tight in defence probably due to tired feet making it hard to play attacking football. In the end the match was decided on penalties which HiFi FC won 5-4 to retain the title they last won in 2015 when it was first introduced in Mkhondo.
There were only three (3) teams in ladies soccer division after Losta Stars Ladies FC pulled out of the tournament due to lack of players. The three teams that participated were Hintalo Stars FC from Phola Park, Dube United Ladies FC from Retiefville and Moleko Stars from eMabola/Dirkiesdorp. The teams played a round robin point system. Hintalo Stars FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Dube United Ladies FC in the first game. The result is a sign that in future it will be hard to beat the young Dube United Ladies FC team which is coached by one of the best development coaches and PR Barcelona FC owner Mr DJ Mshololo. Hintalo Stars FC sealed the first spot when they defeated Moleko Stars FC 3-1 in the 2nd game to clinch the title on goal difference. Dube United Ladies FC were very close to winning the trophy but were a goal shot after defeating Moleko Stars FC 2-1. They finished in 2nd place behind champions Hintalo Stars FC.
“You are not fair, every time we come to play here you rob us. The last time we won this cup you did not give us trophies, you only gave us medals and a jersey,”
In prize giving both winners (men& women) received a trophy, medals and a kit. The runners up received a kit and silver medals. The other clubs each received quality match balls for participating in the games. The champions HiFi FC was the only club that was not happy during the prize giving. The club complained against unfair treatment by the Mkhondo LFA in prizes and demanded that they be given a match ball on top of winning the soccer kit. The Mkhondo LFA secretary Mr Ntokozo Simelane tried to explain the criteria for allocation of balls but the club players and management verbally attacked him. “You are not fair, every time we come to play here you rob us. The last time we won this cup you did not give us trophies, you only gave us medals and a jersey,” they shouted.
The players were referring to the trophies that were sent back to Department of Culture, Sports & Recreation after they were found not suitable for football after the 2015 final. The Mkhondo LFA secretary tried to explain the 2015 incident but was also reminded of another ‘robbery’ last season when the club was given 18 bronze medals instead of twenty (20) for finishing 3rd at the 2017/18 Promotional Playoffs in May. The helpless secretary who was with Citizen FC Coach Mr Sandile Kunene decided to give the club the match ball used in the final. The club then took the ball and began taking pictures with the trophy singing in a very jubilant manner. It was an embarrassing scene to watch and witness the dirty linen of the LFA which prides itself with having more than 100 clubs in its official books.