By Lusekero Mhango

Karonga District Youth Football Committee (KDYFC) has vowed to cramp hard on teams and players found to be involved in age cheating in the just commenced First Merchant Bank (FMB) under twenty league in the district.

The call comes in the wake of wrangles which have characterized the flagship youth league in the district in recent times where a wide range of cheating took centre stage. A situation which forced authorities to suspend the league at some point.

Speaking in an interview following the launch of the under twenty league on Saturday, KDYFC chairperson Chawezi Wanda, said the committee does not want the league to to make headlines for age cheating hence is ready to give out the toughest punishment possible if that occurs.

“As the committee we will leave no stone unturned in the fight against age cheating in our league. We are ready to throw out teams and ban players and coaches who age cheat,” he warned.

He said as the league was a breeding ground for upcoming players there is need to protect them and their talents by meeting out stiffer punishments to cheaters.

“We accept we can’t eliminate age cheating completely but we can minimize such cases so as we can get a level playing field on the pitch among players, said Wanda.

He therefore hopes with the measures the committee has put in place issues of age cheating will become a thing of the pass.

However local soccer pundit in the district Hilary Mwalwenje says it will be difficult to curb age cheating considering the money on offer for winning the league. Saying clubs will go that extra mile to bend the rules even if it means age cheating as long as they grab the crown.

Currently 16 teams will participate in the FMB under 20 district league in Karonga with the likes of Malema, last years champions, alongside Kasoba FC, Karonga United reserves and Mudy FC strongly tipped by pundits to emerge champions.