What’s in City Press Sport: Middendorp opens up on Khune exclusion; Peeping through PSL bio-bubble keyhole; Bafana return to action

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City Press Sport | August 23 2020
City Press Sport | August 23 2020

SPORT


Middendorp opens up on Khune exclusion

There’s more to Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp’s decision to leave out goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune from the team’s match-day squad than meets the eye.

At least this could be what Middendorp was hinting at when he told City Press this week that “the management of Kaizer Chiefs will probably give a little bit more information” on Khune.

Super Sunday paves the way for PSL title decider

Day 16 in the PSL bio-bubble promises to be a Super Sunday as the Western Cape faces off against Soweto this afternoon.

Cape Town City are up against Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld Stadium at 3.30pm, while Kaizer Chiefs face Stellenbosch at Orlando Stadium at 6pm. It remains to be seen whether Chiefs will take advantage of Mamelodi Sundowns’ slip-up this time and strengthen their grip atop the Absa Premiership table.

Peeping through PSL bio-bubble keyhole

Much has been said about the PSL’s biologically safe environment, but what does it really look like? Gomolemo Motshwane visited a few venues that are hosting the games to see how everyone is staying safe. Even though City Press wasn’t there to burst the bio-bubble, a facilities manager asked the team to leave.

Romeo shows he’s the real deal

Cape Town City striker Kermit Erasmus is constantly proving to be the real McCoy in the race for the Absa Premiership Golden Boot award. Along with Kaizer Chiefs’ hotshot Samir Nurkovic and Highlands Park striker Peter Shalulile, Erasmus is among those who have been banging them in in the PSL bio-bubble that had low scoring margins in the opening week.

Bafana return to action, but may not need bio-bubble

Safa is not anticipating that players will have to report for national duty under a biologically safe environment format similar to the one the PSL has implemented to complete the delayed club football season. Bafana Bafana are expected back in action in October after CAF and Fifa this week confirmed the revised dates of the international football calendar.

Of football, friendship and fraternity

Like 400 million other people, I’ll be watching Sunday night’s Uefa Champions League final between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon.

But my thoughts will be thousands of miles away from the capital city of Portugal. They’ll be in Johannesburg in 2015. Not that I can remember who contested the 2015 final, though. I’ll have to look it up. What I can remember is that my good friend S’Bu Mseleku came to Berlin for the match – on one of those trips that made our jobs as football journalists worthwhile.

Royal Eagles relegated, but Cosmos is still not safe

Royal Eagles will fly no more in the GladAfrica Championship after Jomo Cosmos’ surprise win yesterday ensured the relegation of the KwaZulu-Natal outfit to the ABC Motsepe League.

Eagles cannot finish higher than 15th position in the second tier league. Mathematically, they can only amass 28 points if they win all of their games.

Cricket scraping bottom of the leadership barrel

With its annual general meeting hurtling into view in just under a fortnight, Cricket SA (CSA) approaches what should be the culmination of the past few years of succession planning with a gaping hole where its leadership should be.

As things stand, when September 5 comes around, CSA will go into its the meeting minus a president, a CEO and a board member, after Chris Nenzani, acting CEO Jacques Faul (regular CEO Thabang Moroe was suspended due to allegations of misconduct in December) and independent director Steve Cornelius all resigned this week.

Nenzani and Faul have since been replaced in an interim capacity by Beresford Williams and Kugandrie Govender. The latter’s appointment as the organisation’s first woman leader was, perhaps in keeping with CSA’s reputation at the moment, greeted with allegations of her being close to the sack last year and “not being the obvious choice” for the job.

‘I’m very optimistic, ready to serve Cricket SA’

Cricket SA is on the edge of a precipice and Kugandrie Govender would not have been able to live with herself if it all went belly-up without her doing anything about it.

That’s why she made her “least selfish” decision this week and agreed to be the beleaguered body’s acting CEO after Jacques Faul resigned on Monday.

“I am under no illusion about how warm the chair is,” said Govender, CSA’s first woman CEO, in an interview with City Press’ sister paper Rapport this week.

SPORT COLUMNS:

Tim Spirit: Farewell, Bra S’Bu, we’ll sing your best hymns in your memory

If there was one period S’Bu Mseleku enjoyed most in a season, it was the tail-end of the campaign, when clubs were fighting for survival and championships. This brought out the best in him as he walked around the newsroom, teasing people about their favourite teams and how they were doing.

S’Bu was a pastor and enjoyed Sesotho hymns, but he didn’t always know all the words. When that happened, he would come to me – humming the tune he had heard somewhere – and when I told him which hymn it was and what chapter it belonged to in the hymn book, his smile would say it all.

Hanging Judge: Inconsistency in refereeing standards leads to rude player behaviour

First of all, let me say how good it is to be back writing for City Press. I missed reading all your comments and good wishes. I cannot continue without expressing my sincere condolences to the family and friends of my good friend S’Bu Mseleku, who passed away this week. We had known each other since my refereeing days in South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s.

Side Entry: Robertson’s interest in assisting Lions just upped the stakes

Crusaders coach Scott “Razor” Robertson’s announcement this week that he wants in on the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa next year has two implications. The first is that this is the nearest thing to a fissure in New Zealand’s famously tight-knit coaching fraternity since Robbie Deans – ironically another Crusaders coach at the time – upped sticks and went to coach Australia in 2008.

The second is that, if Lions coach Warren Gatland accedes to Robertson’s request, the combined home unions’ chances of winning their three-test series against the world champion Springboks have just received a significant boost.

Usually, coaches keep their heads down when they’re overlooked for the job of coaching the All Blacks, but one gets the impression that Robertson never quite did after New Zealand Rugby went the safe route and gave Steve Hansen’s position to his assistant Ian Foster.


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