Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
29 Jul 2017
3:35 pm

Successful Durban Under-19 tournament canned

Sibongiseni Gumbi

The organisers are allegedly pointing fingers at a PSL official accusing that officialk of influencing the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports and Recreation to stop its funding.

They told a media conference in Durban on Thursday afternoon that the department had come up with sudden demands which they could not agree to.

The department is said to have demanded that organisers replace the six international teams who participate in the tournament with Premier Soccer League sides.

Speaking at a media conference Carlos Catalina the chief executive of the organisers, Hoy Park Management said they have had to write to overseas teams to tell them not to come anymore.

“Saying it is disappointing is putting it mildly. It is very saddening that the tournament will not take place this year. It has devastating effects for our name as Hoy Park, Safa, Durban as a city… We had many international teams who were getting ready to come here and are now being told not to bother,” said Catalino.

“The other problem is the question of the players. They look forward to this tournament and now we have to tell them that they can’t showcase their talents against other youngsters from other countries,” he added.

The Saturday Citizen was informed by a source who asked to remain anonymous that the organisers suspect that Golden Arrows owner and PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala is the one who influenced the department to make the demand.

“One the organisers told me that Mato is the one who told the department to add local teams or cancel the tournament,” said the source.

But Madlala rubbished the allegations and said she is amazed that there are people who think she wields such power.

“How is such nonsense even possible? If I had such power as to tell the department what to do, my team would be well funded,” she said yesterday.

Among the players who have participated in this tournament and went on to win professional contracts include Thabo Cele of Portugal’s Benfica, Sandile Mthethwa of Orlando Pirates and Nkanyiso Zungu of AmaZulu.

Bayern Munich’s sensational youngster Renato Sanchez also participated in the tournament a few years ago with Benfica’s youth team.