WITS’ Internal Football League, which pits res teams against each other, is butting heads with the Wits sports administration over practice fields.

“Every single team pays a lot of money to play [in the league],” said George Leader, a post graduate student who competes for International House FC. “We want a place to kick the ball around, but every time we go to the soccer field we get kicked off. Every single other team in the league faces the same problem.”

Another International House FC player, Shingirai Taodzera, said their practice sessions were on Sundays and they normally had matches on Mondays and Tuesdays. But they were being kicked off the field every time they practised.

Wits Sports Officer for football, Dennis Tshabalala, said the large number of teams had resulted in a lack of practice fields. “…we cannot allow all of them to practice. Therefore what we have told them is that, if they want to train on the field, they have to book the field.”

“If there is no booking done, then they will be chased away.”

However, Leader claims the teams were never told this: “We were not informed of the fact that we have to book the field. We were told that we could go to the area behind Dig Fields A and play there.”

Tshabalala said they met with the league on February 14, and told them there were not enough facilities to accommodate the 48 teams in the league. The university did not have the luxury of a practice field, he said. The university’s only practice field was turned into a parking lot.

“We are making plans at looking at other alternative practice field. However this field needs to be off the main playing field because we need to preserve the pitch for match days.”


Published in Vuvuzela Print Edition, 13 April 2012