Yei premier league kicks off

After a long delay, the local football association of Yei state finally released the fixtures for the start of the new season which kicked off yesterday with the defending champion, Nasri FC taking on Luzira Super Stars in the opening game of the new season yesterday at Freedom Square.

The Yei Premier League kick-off comes almost two months late compared to the previous seasons due to the political and social unrest. According to Moro Gabriel, the secretary of Yei Local Football Association (YLFA), the delay was because the Chairman of the association, John James Wani was away in Juba.

He said there was a petition filed by City Stars FC against the newly promoted club, Rockland FC for using unregistered players last season. This incident has led to the delay to kick start the new season for the first division of Yei premier league because all appeals were to be handled by the then absent FA Chairperson.

“We had a petition written by City Stars FC against Rockland FC for using unregistered players in their second division game last season, so the premier league organizing committee took long to investigate the allegations. So we had to wait for the FA Chairman to handle the petitions and pass the necessary judgments amicably.”

Moro added that, “The committee found out that both teams had caught unregistered players and therefore, the committee deducted six (6) points from the clubs plus a fine of 1000 SSP. The teams to be promoted from the second division to the first division delayed the start of the new season due to the petitions filed.” Moro told Juba Monitor yesterday in a phone interview.

Moro said some of the teams such as Rainbow FC are illegible to participate in the premier league due to shortage of players. He said the players left Yei for refugee in Uganda and others went to Juba. Moro said Rainbow FC has about five (5) players within Yei state therefore; Football Association (FA) had to give them enough time to help bring back their players back to Yei to participate in the league.

Nasri Fc will start defending their championship against Luzira super stars. Steven Anyole Mabe, the team Captain of Super stars said in a phone interview with Juba Monitor that, they are ready to surprise Nasri Fc as they start to defend their trophy.

“This is the game we have been waiting for, to kick start our new premier league season because, our game against Nasri is always like a derby. We are prepared to face them, we are well aware that they are the defending champions and they will do what it takes to win mouth watering  game, we will also do our best to secure the three (3) points,” Anyole told Juba Monitor yesterday.

Anyole called on his players to remain discipline during the course of the game against Nasri and avoid shouting and throwing insulting words towards referees.

“The message I would like to tell the players of Super Stars is that, they should observe discipline. It’s the most important thing. In every game expect one of the three results; a win, draw, and a loss. If any of the results happens, we have to accept the results and move on. We have to respect each other and avoid this issue of picking fights with the referees or the opponent team. We have to respect each other,” Anyole said.

Meanwhile, Yei Central FC faces their long-term rivals – newly promoted Yei United on Saturday, Yaba OJok Jackson, and the Head Coach of Yei Central FC said Yei Central is well prepared for the new season but cites lack of playing kits in Yei town as the main challenge to all the teams in Yei.

“We are more than ready to start the new season well and come back to Juba to show people that Yei Central is still around. It’s true that the club has been performing poorly lately, it’s not because of the players who were sold to Kator Football Club but rather, the absence of some of the senior players who left Yei for Uganda or Juba due to the conflict that sparked out in Yei in July last year. However, we made some recruitment and the team is strong again to challenge for the title,” Ojok told Juba Monitor in an exclusive interview yesterday.

Ojok said he is very delighted with the three former Yei Central’s players who were called into the national team – the Bright Stars – earlier this year. Ojok said it’s a sign of success for Yei Central and it exposes the talented footballers from Yei River state. The three (3) former Yei Central players who were called by Bilal Felix, the national team coach are; Peter Dusman, who plays for Atlabara Fc, Yassir Biansi and Daniel Boki who plays for Kator Fc. Ojok had come to Juba earlier this year to complete the transfer of Yei Central Play-maker, Arike Patrick Aka Ribery and senior centre-back Yassir Biansi to Kator Fc. He’s due to return to Yei before Yei central’s game this Saturday.

Eight teams are going to participate in the premier league as usual. Every season the (YLFA) relegates two teams to the second division and also promotes two to the first division.

Black O4 Fc and Fly United were the two teams relegated from the top league last season, whereas, Rockland Fc and Yei United were the clubs promoted to the first division league. Yei United was promoted after a controversial appeal that led to the deduction of six points from City Stars fc by the FA.

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