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Women Refs For Junior Tournament 02/10/03
At the recent MTN Under-16 Cup tournament which took place in Durban, men, and more notable, women referees, officiated the games for Africa's biggest Under-16 tournament.

The ladies were also prominent in the medical crew, which saw the players faking injuries just to get attention from the medics!

Shoes Mazibuko, chairman of the United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASA) was pleased at the inclusion of women in the male dominated sport.

"Having women to officiate in these games is a small way for us to try and improve women's soccer," he said.

"I was happy to see that at least two teams were coached by women.

"This is a step in the right direction, especially since most of the big referees, including Enoch Molefi and Isaac Arendse, started their careers officiating at these games," he said.

Eighteen games were played on the first day of the five day tournament which took place at the Siripat sports ground.

Bophelo High School, representing Gauteng, made sure they established themselves as early as possible by winning six of seven games in their first ever tournament. This included the 6-1 mauling of Uxolo High School from the Western Cape.

Klaas Mothapo High School did not defend their title as champions well an departed in the early rounds and ended up sixth on the log.

The final was played between Harmony High School from the Free State and Bophelo at Kings Park Stadium, the match was a curtain-raiser for the Castle Premiership game between Black Leopards and SuperSport United.

Bophelo won 2-0 and took home the gold medals, a new football kit and the championship trophy.

An abundance of talent was on display.Thabo Mooki, Siyabonga Nomvete, Jabu Pule and Sibusiso Zuma are just a few of the players who made it professionally have also starred in this tournament, and a few more unknowns who have just played in this tournament are sure to follow their footsteps.

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