Midrand soccer side Real Midrand has been booted out of the Maimane Alfred Phiri Games (Map Games) not by a team on the pitch but by ‘boardroom shenanigans’ of the Alexandra Northrand Local Football Association.
Real’s club manager Sthembiso Buthelezi accused Alex football officials of masterminding a campaign to engineer the progression of Malandela Mighty Heroes to the semi-finals of the Map Games despite being clobbered on the field of play by his team.
Buthelezi accused non-other than the secretary general of Alex football, Mafika Morajane and said he was responsible for the booting out of his club of the competition. An irate Buthelezi said his team was leading Mighty Heroes 2–0 in the quarter-finals of the Map Games under floodlights at the Number 3 Square Grounds on 1 June when, with only eight minutes to go to full time, Mighty Heroes players walked off the pitch claiming they could not continue to play as they could not see properly anymore.
This was despite the referee insisting that the game must go on, claimed Buthelezi. On 6 June, Real received a letter from the association stating that they were to play the remaining eight minutes of the game on 10 June at the same venue.
On their way to the game, Buthelezi said he phoned Morajane and told him they could be a little late due to traffic problems but nevertheless arrived on time, only to be told that the association had awarded Mighty Heroes a walkover with a
scoreline of 3–2.
Chaos then erupted at the stadium as the Real team and their entourage refused to leave the stadium and the Metro police were called. Upon speaking to the police, Buthelezi claimed that they would not entertain any stories and insisted that his team were in the right and left the stadium with his players.
On 11 June, when Morajane forwarded Alex News the results of the Map Games over the weekend, the Real-Mighty Heroes fixture had no result. When enquiring why this was so, Morajane said the association’s board would meet that evening to decide the fate of the game. The association later issued a statement in which it concluded that Real had arrived a minute late for the kick-off time of 12 noon and their players were not kitted up.
The situation seemed to get out of hand as Real players refused to leave the pitch and Metro police were called.
Morajane said the board took the decision to disqualify Real from the Map Games tournament based on their unruly behaviour and further sanctions would be considered at a later stage.