Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza says they are investigating age cheats
Posted: 18 May 2012 Time: 06:30
Irvin Khoza has revealed that Orlando Pirates are conducting an internal investigation into alleged age cheating in their development structures.
The success of Pirates junior teams over the years has been blighted by allegations of age cheating that KICK OFF magazine reported on extensively last year, going as far as gathering evidence of the accused age cheats. However, though KICK OFF magazine exposed the evidence to prove there were alleged age cheats in the Pirates Under-15 team that won the Nike Premier Cup last year, there was little done by both the club and the organisers at the time. But Khoza has now raised his concerns and admitted to the syndrome that is typical of junior football not only in the country but across the continent. "We are doing an audit to be sure that the players that we have are of the proper ages so that we are sure that we are nurturing is the right talent. We must not close the door for the talent that requires the opportunity and is of the right age. We don't want to use our resources on age cheats who will not benefit the country and the club," Khoza says. Augusto Palacios, the technical director of the club's development, is currently caretaker coach of the first team, which has Tlou Segolela as the only development product who gets regular game-time. _quote Khoza says though they want to have more development products in the senior team they want to sort out age cheating first.
"We want to do that [have more development players in the first team] but there are some things that are worrying to some of us. We would want to be sure that the ages that we have are the right ages because you cannot have players that are winning championships but when you want to see them progressing in the League then they fall on the wayside. So therefore the mechanism or technology to assist us in finding the age of players is going to make me more excited. "Just winning trophies for the sake of winning trophies is not exciting for me. I want to see those players progressing to the national team level then I will be happy that we are developing players. What is a worry for me is the age cheating that we are still investigating is rife. For me I don't get excited about winning trophies but if you have won with the players of the right ages then I will be excited because those players will progress beyond our expectations. If they don't do that then it is a waste of time," says Khoza. Pirates have dominated junior football competition winning four Under-15 Premier Cups in the last five years, but all players from those teams haven't made any significant progress.