Malindi Secondary School got a rude awakening after they were docked six points during the inaugural Cosafa Zone Caf African Schools Championships for featuring two ineligible players.
The tournament, which started on Saturday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, came to an end Monday.
Despite winning all their four matches during the tournament, Malindi finished third, behind champions Edendale.
Malindi were in pole position to qualify for the Caf African Schools Championship but paid the price of fielding two ineligible players.
“In the girls’ competition, Malindi Secondary School have had two of their results awarded to their opponents after misinterpretation of the regulations saw them fielding two ineligible players,’’ reads communication from the organising committee of the tournament.
According to competition regulations, all players must be 15 years old by the end of the calendar year in which the final competition is played (i.e all players of the teams were born on or after 1 January 2008).
The two ineligible players featured for Malindi in their matches against Anse Boileau (Seychelles) and Edendale Technical (SA) which the team won. Following the development, the points were awarded to Anse and Edendale.
Malindi Coach Timothy Kinyota Banda insisted the players were eligible to take part in the tournament.
Malawi Schools Sports Association President Blackson Malamula suspected foul play.
“I hope next time organisers will be neutral when making their decisions. All in all, we thank them for providing a good platform for students to showcase their skills,” Malamula said.
In boys’ football, Clapham High School defeated Salima 1-0 in the final to qualify for the inaugural Caf African Schools Football championship.
In girls’ football, Edendale from South Africa also booked their place in the Caf finals.
The champions in each category got $100,000 (about K101 million) whereas the runners-up received $75,000 (about K75 million).