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LOSING semi-finalists in the City of Harare Primary Schools’ Under-14 soccer tournament Budiriro Primary School Number 4 have accused finalists Hatcliffe Number 1 of breaking the cardinal rule and using over-aged players.

The 32-school tournament kicked-off a month ago and will reach its climax today with Hatcliffe Primary School number 1 facing Budiriro Primary School 1 at Rufaro Stadium in the final.

Hatcliffe stormed into the final after treating Budiriro 4 to a 3-0 defeat and they will be going up against Budiririo 1 who also secured a spot in the final after overwhelming Hatcliffe 2 1-0 in the semi-finals.

The winning team will walk away with a trophy, individual medals and US$5 000 while the first runner-up will pocket US$3 000 and the third-placed team will collect US$2 000 in addition to individual prizes.

As an incentive all participating schools were given kits and consolation prize monies. Budiriro 4 claimed they lost because their opponents were using over-aged players and singled out some whom were said were notorious for playing in the wrong groups.

The tournament’s organizing secretary Evaresto Rukasha, however, said that everything to do with the vetting process had been above board and praised the players for displaying great skill throughout the tournament.

“We condone age cheating and since the allegations, investigations into the matter have been carried out but I was assured the vetting process was done above board and all papers were in order.

“Throughout this tournament we have seen a lot of raw talent which with the right mentorship will go far, some of these kids are even better than what we witness even at Premiership level but they need the right grooming and mentorship.

“We realise that junior development in soccer is important and is the foundation of any g team and that is why we launched this tournament to target the players from primary stage.

“From these tournaments we will form an academy that will feed Harare City Football Club and any club that would be interested in buying the players.

“We are now turning our focus on the final this Saturday and we urge people to come out and join us and see for themselves the kind of raw talent our children possess,” said Rukasha.

Source : The Herald