Some Blantyre urban teams have cried foul after the district was barred from the Botsalt Under-23 Netball League following age cheating allegations.
The development comes ahead of the two-day regional finals which starts today at Blantyre Youth Centre where 13 sides will battle for the regional honour.
The organisers banned Blantyre urban zone following series of age cheating incidents which threatened to ruin the future of the competition.
Representatives of some teams felt that the officials were harsh on budding teams and lenient on reserve sides for top teams.
“In all fairness, reserve sides for the big teams were the ones that featured overaged players. It is bad that these teams were not disqualified. They penalised smaller teams who featured players within the right age bracket. They were supposed to disqualify reserves for the big teams,” one of the sources said.
Southern Region Netball League Chairperson Judith Chalusa confirmed the banning of the district.
“We felt barring the whole district was necessary because our counterparts [district committee] did not help us. There were some players that I even played with long time ago taking part in league games. Instead of disqualifying the alleged teams, our counterparts disqualified a team that everyone felt that it had registered players within the right age bracket,” she said.
Chalusa said they banned the whole Blantyre District Urban following Blantyre and Districts Netball League’s failure to disqualify irresponsible teams.
“It is a pity that Nyambadwe was disqualified when we all know the real culprits,” she said.
BDNL General Secretary Annie Hanjahanja could neither confirm nor deny the statements.
Before the banning of the teams Chilomoni Sisters Under-23 boycotted their match against Imosys Reserve on allegations that their counterparts featured overaged players.