It is two steps forward and three steps back for Chris Hani regional soccer as the progress of the past four years may, yet again, fail to produce a local team competing in the higher echelons of national football.
ABC Mostsepe side and Komani-based Amavarara FC are on sale. The news was confirmed this week by the club chairperson, Lusapho Mzwakali, who said he could no longer bear the burden of financing the team.
“It has now become a burden to me and my family. I have been knocking on various doors for years and no one has come to the party. I can no longer continue to carry the team,” said Mzwakali.
Amavarara, promoted in 2018, has been the region’s only flag-bearer on the third tier of national leagues since Angavu FC in 2014, before being joined by the Aloevale team Seven Stars which secured the promotion last season.
The club has struggled to meet the demands of semi-professional players and extensive travel expenses, having existed in a precarious financial situation since 2019. Promises to fund the team have not materialised and it seems its demise is now imminent.
“Last season we sold five players to Spear of the Nation because we could no longer keep hold of them. Repeatedly players had nothing to eat at the clubhouse, something that impacted their performance on the field,” added the chairman.
Last year Amavarara received a cash injection of R150 000 from the Chris Hani District Municipality to help with its campaign in the Nedbank Cup. However, no sponsor has since committed to partnering with the club, despite it showing it had what it takes to compete with other top clubs in the province.
“It is a shame because what we achieved is proof that there is talent in this region. Two players from this region are now regulars in the GladAfrica competition. It is a shame that all that work may now come to naught,” he said.