The players and officials of Berea FC relaxing on the pitch after invading it as a way to vent their anger after the match officials had declared their game against Madridtas FC a walkover. Photo: Frank Mavhungu.
Berea FC will not take part in the semi-final stage of the SAFA Vhembe promotional playoffs, but not because they had been booted out of the tournament. The Zwigodini-based side has been dismissed from the tournament for an act of misconduct.
The incident that led to their dismissal occurred at the Tshifulanani Stadium on Sunday. Berea were supposed to have played against Madridtas FC in their first semi-final match, which was scheduled to start at 08:00. According to the available information, Berea arrived at the stadium a few minutes after the scheduled kick-off time. At that stage, the referee had already blown the final whistle and thus declared the game a walkover for Madridtas FC.
The match officials’ decision to declare the game a walkover for Madridtas did not sit well with the players of Berea. They decided to invade the pitch, despite the fact that the team they were supposed to play had already left. Berea’s players and officials remained on the pitch until the teams that were supposed to play in the second semi-final, Vondwe XI Bullets and Madridtas FC, got onto the pitch at 11:30.
The second semi-final could not take place as three teams were on the field of play. The league officials called the police, with the hope that their presence would scare the players and officials of Berea, but that was not to be. At about 12:45, the league officials decided to move the second semi-final match to the Tshifudi Stadium.
Although Berea had joined the convoy to the Tshifudi Stadium, they were denied entry to the stadium by members of the police services who were already waiting at the gate when the bus ferrying the players and officials of Berea arrived.
The league’s general secretary, Mr Eric Muneri, has confirmed that the league has decided to expel Berea FC from the tournament. Mr Muneri further revealed that Berea would soon be summoned to appear before the league’s disciplinary committee to answer to allegations of misconduct. Asked what would happen if the disciplinary committee exonerated Berea FC, Mr Muneri said that the disciplinary committee’s ruling would not have any impact on the league’s decision to expel Berea from the tournament.
When asked to comment about the matter, Berea’s team manager, Mr Dakalo Ratshitanga, was quick to mention that the league had long been searching for reasons to expel his team from the annual event. According to him, expelling his team from the playoffs before they could appear before the disciplinary enquiry amounted to imprisonment without trial. “How can they expel us from the tournament before we appear before the disciplinary enquiry?” he asked.
Date:10 June 2021 - By: Frank Mavhungu
Frank is a Human Resources Manager at the Department of Public Works in Limpopo. He is the longest serving correspondent of the Mirror, having joined us at the end of 1990. He mainly writes sports reports and resides at Tsianda Village. In 2004, Frank won the National Castle League Award, an award for the best reporter in the SAB league in South Africa.