SA sports fans are taken for granted

2011-04-09 19:29

South African sports lovers could be ­forgiven if they were to lay claim to being the most taken-for- granted fans on the entire globe.

In fact, it is common in this country to take the paying sports fans for a ride and treat them like trash.

Can you imagine if it had been another country and not South Africa, whose national team ­captain had decided not to come home, face the public and ­explain what had gone wrong at the recently concluded ICC World Cup in India?

Instead, Proteas’ captain ­Graeme Smith decided to go and canoodle with his songstress girlfriend in far away ­Ireland, with the blessings of Cricket South Africa (CSA), the organisation tasked with governing the sport.

Even his agent, Craig Livingstone, who I guess cannot be blamed as he gets paid by the player, saw nothing wrong with this.

What about respect for the ­nation that made him captain? Doesn’t it deserve an ­explanation?

There are several examples of how sports supporters are taken for a ride – clubs changing their technical sponsors at the drop of a hat, thus forcing fans to buy new regalia.

SABC1 insists on calling itself the home of soccer. What ­soccer?

On Wednesday night SuperSport beamed live three crucial Absa Premiership matches while the public broadcaster showed the Orlando Pirates-
Moroka Swallows encounter “delayed live” at 10pm, long ­after the final whistle had gone.

SuperSport, which I must ­declare at this point belongs to the same group of companies as City Press, on occasion shows a number of live matches that ­include PSL, European ­Champions League, the English, ­German and Spanish premier leagues, as well as European and African qualifiers.

The PSL broadcast rights are held by the pay channel but this did not stop the guys from Auckland Park from having the temerity to run ads last week boasting that Nedbank Cup games were “exclusive to the home of soccer”. What nerve!

Did Safa consult the fans ­before deciding they wanted to change the name Bafana ­Bafana?

Did the PSL really drop the Telkom Charity Cup, a one-day event, due to fixture ­congestion?

I rest my case.

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