Youth Games: SA Teams Withdraw

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK The South African men and women basketball teams withdrew yesterday from the SADC Under-20 Youth Games in the capital. The two teams withdrew after it was discovered that according to the SADC Under-20 Youth Games rules the have too many overage players and thus could not participate in the games. According to the Secretary General of the SADC Under-20 Youth Games, the South Africans and other countries used the Federation of International Basketball Association rules to select their under-20 players instead of using the SADC Under-20 Youth Games rules. The secretary general explained that because the two sets of rules differ it was agreed upon earlier that the SADC Under-20 Youth Games rules would be applied and the South Africans had no choice but to withdraw. He added that other countries such as Angola also had overage players but it was decided for them to continue because they still have adequate players who qualify to play. He noted that he does not believe that the South Africans had any intentions to cheat but thinks it was a genuine misunderstanding. He added that despite the few hiccups they experienced during the accreditation, the process had been completed. He stated that some athletes only received temporary accreditation, as they did not have adequate documentation. Some athletes did not have original passports as required and only had emergency travel documents and thus cannot be fully accredited until they provide the documents. He added that athletes with no original birth certificates were also not accredited. He warned that if it is discovered that any team has registered a player over the age of twenty, they will be automatically disqualified. “We will not only kick out the player but the entire team will be sent home and if it is Namibia, the games will continue without them.” The Secretary General was however happy that the games have finally started and that they have solved most of the problems experienced the first two days. Meanwhile on the action, Nampa reports that the Namibian Under-20 men’s soccer team shocked highly-fancied South Africa 1-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in the current SADC Under-20 Youth Games yesterday. Namibia, who are in Group B which also features Lesotho and Swaziland, will now fancy their chances of progressing to the semi-finals. In Group A, Botswana also upset Zimbabwe 2-1 at the Katutura Youth Complex yesterday. Botswana now top the charts on four points while Zimbabwe, who beat Mozambique 1-0 in their opening match on Tuesday, are now second in the Group A standings with three points ahead of Zambia (fourth) and bottom-placed Mozambique. Zambia and Angola drew 1-1 today at the Katutura Youth Complex. A missed second half penalty proved costly for Zimbabwe after defender Jimmy Zhaimo missed a 65th minute spot kick in a pulsating encounter with the teams tied 1-all. Namibian referee Ma-thews Katjimune awarded the penalty after Zimbabwe striker Ali Sadiki was up-ended in the box by defender Mecanyano Godiragetse. Zhaimo sent the ball tamely to the left and Botswana goalkeeper Sephekekolo Mom-poloki had an easy task as he parried it away. Striker Thaele Monageng scored the winner with a swerving free kick in the 65th minute. Zimbabwe took the lead in the 10th minute through striker defender William Mapfumo who prodded the ball home in a goalmouth melee. But Botswana drew level two minutes later when Jacky Motlahatlhego headed the ball past goalkeeper Ronald Mudimu after meeting a cross on the left from Sebina Tebogo. Apart from the goals, there was little goalmouth action in a sterile first half with action concentrated in the middle of the park. But there was plenty of drama in the second half. There was that missed penalty and chances galore for both teams. Botswana midfielder Thabo Mbole broke clear in the 47th minute only to miss the target with a left footed kick. The Young Warriors of Zimbabwe threatened five minutes later but Peter Nzerubanye’s cross found no takers. Botswana midfielder Sembowa Tebogo sent his effort wide in the 55th minute before Sadiki missed in a one-on-one situation ten minutes later. Botswana camped inside the Young Warriors territory for the better part of the second half with Monageng and Kaone giving the Zimbabwean backline a torrid time. Tebogo missed with five minutes remaining when he had the goalkeeper to beat while Sadiki came close with the Young Warriors last attack of the game in injury time.

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