Ricky Zililo in Bikita, Masvingo
THE National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) has declared zero tolerance to age-cheating, describing it as a cancer in football development with potential to scare away sponsors.
Speaking at the launch of the 31st edition of the COPA Coca-Cola boys and girls’ Under-15 tournament at Pamushana High School yesterday, acting Nash president Arthur Maphosa said the desire to win was fueling age-cheating and they’re ready for the challenge.
“The will to get to the upper podium and lift the cup has led to challenges, where in some instances we do have the ‘win at all cost’ syndrome, hence the scourge of cheating creeps in. We have had these challenges, but they cannot eclipse our good works.
“As I pay respect to our erstwhile and honourable corporate partners on behalf of Nash, let me today categorically and unequivocally state without fear or favour, without casting any unwarranted aspersions on any honourable and noble members of our organisation, Nash’s current locus standi on age cheating in particular.
“This has become a sore thumb in the running of our grassroot developmental games which no doubt we are custodians of. The recurring scourge which has seen hitherto compliant institutions joining the cheating bandwagon must today by this declaration be and hereby be sentenced to the dustbins of our yesterday activities. It is my concern as president of an honourable, respectable and renowned institution of repute Nash and in the interests of protecting the corporate image of our current sponsors, institute a lawful way of running all our sport codes,” said Maphosa.
His sentiments come after the sponsors of the tournament discovered that last year’s girls winners, Nyamauru of Manicaland cheated.
Mashonaland West Province will play host to the COPA Coca-Cola national finals from July 11-13.
The road to the final starts with the zonal finals next week on Friday, followed by the district finals on June 7 and the provincial finals on June 28.
National finals draw
Group A: Matabeleland South, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West
Group B: Masvingo, Manicaland, Harare
Group C: Host school, Matabeleland North, Bulawayo
Group D: Pamushana, Mashonaland East, Midlands
Group A: Mashonaland West, Midlands, Matabeleland South
Group B: Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East
Group C: Host School, Bulawayo, Harare
Group D: Masvingo, Nyamauru, Matabeleland North