In City Press Sport: Government to ‘nationalise’ sporting bodies; Can Chiefs rake in gold?

City Press Sport, 22 December
City Press Sport, 22 December

This is what is in the City Press Sport section this week:

Can Chiefs rake in gold for their golden jubilee?

Kaizer Chiefs turn 50 in the new year and nothing will serve the tradition-steeped club better than a piece of silverware to make their golden jubilee even more special.

This especially when Amakhosi are still reeling from a barren spell, which is quite an unusual scenario for an outfit that was once revered as South Africa’s cup kings.

Early indications are that Chiefs could well be headed for glory if their consistency in the opening half of the ongoing Absa Premiership campaign is anything to go by, writes Daniel Mothowagae.

Positive start for Bucs’ Zinnbauer but a lot of work lies ahead 

Ending the year with a squeeze inside the top five laid a perfect base for Orlando Pirates’ new coach, Josef Zinnbauer, to build on in the second half of the Absa Premiership campaign.

The 3-1 win over Black Leopards in Soweto just before the recess was a confidence booster the 49-year-old German was targeting on his debut.

But the talking point during the game was more on Rhulani Mokwena, who cut an isolated figure on the bench as he appeared to be sulking since he made way for Zinnbauer.

SA sports bodies slam proposed bill

Government has published a draft bill which will “nationalise” all sporting bodies such as SA Rugby, Cricket SA and Athletics SA, a move that could also see the minister of sport being directly involved in team selection.

The bill is so expansive that it even includes some sort of national service for athletes and the power to jail sports people for certain offences.

It also proposes to transfer nearly all the powers currently held by sporting bodies to a deputy director-general of the department of sport and recreation.

Seeking closer unity

Despite Safa organising a successful first World Cup in Africa in 2010 and PSL revenues reaching R1 billion this year, little has changed in the on-off relationship between the two organisations in the past decade.

Safa boss Danny Jordaan and PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza tell Timothy Molobi that the two bodies have to find, support and work with each other in 2020

The big fall of football’s despots

The vacating of office of former Fifa president Sepp Blatter and his CAF counterpart Issa Hayatou in the past few years heralded the departure of the last of the old generation of leaders in world football.

Their lust for power and authoritarian leadership styles were some of the common factors that turned Blatter’s and Hayatou’s departures into football’s most dramatic falls in the past decade, writes Daniel Mothowagae

Evolved Boucher embraces Proteas’ ambulance job challenge

When Mark Boucher was named the new South African cricket coach, those who remembered him as an abrasive ex-Proteas wicketkeeper feared the national team would undergo a makeover in the unpleasant image of his past.

But, listening to him talk about his approach after three years as the Titans’ coach, the man who came across as an Aussie trapped in a Saffer’s body sounded worlds apart from the player we knew.

“I think I’ve learnt a lot of lessons along the way,” said Boucher, who admitted he expected to be at St Francis Bay at this time of year instead of in camp with the Proteas preparing them for the Boxing Day test in Centurion.

A freedom fighter of her time

Caster Semenya’s decade-long struggle with the IAAF has transformed her into a modern-day human rights activist, writes Daniel Mothowagae.

A luta continua, a vitória é certa.” This political war cry, which means “the struggle continues, victory is certain”, ties in well with Semenya’s protracted battle for freedom to be the athlete she is meant to be.Since the star middle-distance runner broke on to the world stage in 2009, her journey has been nothing but a struggle to convince the world athletics governing body, the IAAF, that she has the right to compete against other women.

Bolt: a decade of  unrivalled dominance

Simply put, Usain Bolt is the best sprinter of all time. With 13 individual gold medals – seven at World Championships and six Olympic golds – this is the stuff of legends.

Add five individual world records – four of them set in major finals – and Bolt’s claim to a rare level of greatness is undeniable

The roller coaster rugby decade that was

The past decade in rugby began with a bang as Soweto hosted its first Super Rugby final, and ended with the Springboks winning their third World Cup title.

Proteas: A decade of pain and glory

The past decade in cricket had as many incredible milestones as disappointments. There was still no World Cup win. The administrators also engaged in a spot of Russian roulette with the game.

Side Entry column: It’s time rugby focused on neglected women’s game

There was something world champion about the sneers the South African rugby public reserved for the national women’s sevens team following their 40-0 defeat to their New Zealand counterparts at the Cape Town Sevens.

No doubt imbued with the sheen of newly minted world champion supporters, the locals had a go at Imbokodo – as the women’s sevens are known these days – for their supposed “ineptitude” in losing their group game to the series defending champions, who have won five of a possible seven titles since the inception of the women’s competition, writes Simnikiwe Xabanisa.

VAR and other technologies that changed sports over the last 10 years

The ubiquitous nature of technology in everyday menial tasks has reached a stage where professional sports in the past decade have been forced to use them in their coliseums of excellence.

From the DRS – decision review system, the VAR – video assistant referee, and the TMO – television match official, the beauty of adjudicating the validity of human achievements is not left to the eye of mere mortals, but confirmed through a web of algorithms, an array of cameras and the swiftness of communicating with off-field officials.

This has not stopped the debates, the controversies or the boundless emotion that is experienced and expressed viscerally in the formation of conclusive decisions, writes Muhammad Hussain.

Racism in sport: Little has changed

About 10 years ago the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights identified football and basketball as the sports with the highest number of discriminatory incidents.

A decade later, it would appear that very little has changed. At least when it comes to football. Just ask Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford.

Doping their way to success

When the world’s best athletes gather in Tokyo next year for the Olympic Games one thing is certain, the Russian flag and anthem will – once again – be absent from any of the victory celebrations.

The World Anti-Doping Agency banned Russia and its athletes from competing at the  multi-sport showpiece  early this month and also excluded the country’s national football team from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Doing is a war that sports have been waging for many, many years.

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