By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
ANDANI Kutama, the 16 year-old player who collapsed and died during the Metropolitan SASFA Under-16 Cup might be gone, but his name will live on.
This after both SASFA and Metropolitan announced today that from now on, the Golden Boot Award in this competition has been named after him and will be knowN as the Adani Kutama Golden Boot Award.
Speaking at the launch of the 2013 SASFA Metropolitan Under-16 Cup which is scheduled to take place in Limpopo’s capital, Polokwane, SASFA president, Mandla “Shoe” Mazibuko confirmed the re-naming of the award after the late young soccer star who collapsed in the field of play 13 minutes into the play before he was rushed to Prince Mshiyeni Hospital where he was confirmed dead upon arrival. Andani was part of his team’s school, Benny’s Academy from Thohoyandou in Limpopo.
“Losing a player of Andani’s calibre was one of the sad thing to have happened in the history of this tournament and a very emotional moment. Andani died like a soldier in the battlefield and it was for this reason that we decided to name the tournament’s Top Goal-Scorer award after him,” explained Mazibuko.
Mazibuko also took the opportunity to thank Metropolitan for their continued support in this tournament which marks its 5th year that has produced a number of well known players such as Daine Klate, Lerato Manzini (Bloemfontein Celtic), Thabo Moloi (SuperSport United)and more recently Ajax Cape Town’s young lad, Tasrig Moris who scored the only goal as the Urban Warriors clobbered Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in a league match played last night in Cape Town.
Mazibuko also commended Rosina Sedibane School from Gauteng for their talent that saw them won the competition three times in a row, thus seeing them represented the country at the international level.
“As one of the cornerstones of development in South Africa, a healthy level of schools football is imperative to any potential success so it is important to create the best possible conditions to realise our objectives. It is through the vision of partners such as Metropolitan, whose investment in the early stages of a long term process enables us to reap the rewards on a sustainable basis for generations to come,” added Mazibuko.
Metropolitan brand manager, Belinda Faulkner explained the ethos behind the final service company’s involvement in youth development through football.
“Football has a tremendous ability to develop and unite people and has also shown itself to be a fantastic medium through which young people can learn values of disclipline, team-work and good health, all while having fun. However at Metropolitan, we have always believed that football development cannot be effected in isolation and, to tie in with our holistic approach, we have devise a Life Skills programme that forms a key opponent of all Metropolitan-sponsored events aimed at equipping the youngsters to handle some of the challenges they may face on their way to become the superstars of tomorrow.
The Department of Sport and Recreation in KwaZulu-Natal is still awaiting the post-mortem result on a 16-year-old Limpopo boy who collapsed and died during a soccer tournament at King Zwelithini Stadium yesterday.
Andani Kutama collapsed 13 minutes into the match and was taken to Prince Mshiyeni Hospital where he died on arrival.