It is often said that a moment that’s gone forever is impossible to reproduce. It is for this reason that some things need to be witnessed in person or captured live, for memory’s sake. That three South African clubs are involved in the last eight of the CAF interclub competitions is one of those moments. The protracted negotiations over broadcast rights between CAF and French company Lagardère Sports and Entertainment are depriving us of watching good football.
Football is the most popular sport on the planet. In an organisation of 211 members of the Fifa community, the sport is followed by many millions of people across the world. Those millions are people from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious communities. We’ve had the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané of Liverpool, both committed Muslims, as well as Paul Pogba of Manchester United. How do these players, and many more like them, fare during the month of Ramadan?
Last year, when going through the many things that make Cheslin Kolbe a sensational rugby player, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber touched on a little regarded aspect of the wee magician’s play – defence. For a man with negligible dimensions of 1.71m and 80kg, Kolbe puts his elbows out as much as anyone in defence. In explaining it, Nienaber said he put a significant amount of that down to something he called level change. Watching the opening two rounds of the South African version of the Rainbow Cup – and the mounting count of tackle-related yellow cards – one couldn’t help but think the poor blighters who have had to spend what appears to be needless time in the sin bin could use some of Kolbe’s level change round about now.
In another twist in the Bafana Bafana coach debacle, former head coach Molefi Ntseki could return as an assistant to his successor Hugo Broos, barely a week after he agreed on a settlement with Safa following his sacking in March. But the Belgian might have jumped the gun by revealing the identity of his second assistant.
Safa is leaving no stone unturned regarding any attempts to corrupt match officials during the crunch stage of the season. The association said that, from now onwards, the identity of assigned match officials would only be revealed an hour before matches.
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has breathed a sigh of relief after it was confirmed that goalkeeper Richard Ofori had recovered from his injury and was ready to play. Initially, Pirates were facing a goalkeeping crisis which had Zinnbauer in a pickle, with Wayne Sandilands the only experienced goalie available for selection.
A common factor this season in the DStv Premiership and the GladAfrica Championship is the rise of clubs from KwaZulu-Natal.
AmaZulu and Golden Arrows have been offering any resistance they can to Mamelodi Sundowns’ charge towards an unprecedented 11th league title.
In the first division, Royal AM and Richards Bay are the main contenders for promotion, with only two rounds of fixtures remaining.
Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Kabelo Mahlasela (30) and one-time Orlando Pirates rising star Yusuf Maart (25) were deemed surplus to requirements by the premier division clubs, but they are now on the brink of a spectacular return to the elite league.
The discussions between Sascoc and government are at an advanced stage over a proposed plan to vaccinate South African athletes and officials who are heading to the Olympics in Japan. Vaccinations are not mandatory for participating teams, but the International Olympic Committee and the organisers of the Tokyo Games believe that taking the jab will be an extra precaution during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Note number one on Rassie Erasmus’ list of truths of life: “Let the main thing stay the main thing.”
If it’s good enough for the coach who made the Springboks the world champions, it’s good enough for Temba Bavuma.
The Proteas’ new white ball captain recently spent some time with Springbok captain Siya Kolisi in Durban. Being a South African sports captain comes with unique challenges.
Zinhle Ndawonde is a rare breed. She’s able to juggle her side and regular jobs – as a Springbok rugby player and firefighter – without breaking a sweat.
The 31-year-old is a firefighter at the King Shaka International Airport but she has expertly struck a good balance between work and playing rugby for the Cell C Sharks women’s team.
Gift Leotlela’s massive 100m milestone – where he became the sixth South African sprinter to run under 10 seconds at the University Sports SA track and field championships at the University of Johannesburg on Friday – was something of a happy accident.
But, according to coach Hennie Kriel, the University of Pretoria student shouldn’t even have been running the 100m at the competition.
The standoff of Cricket SA (CSA) with Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa over a new governance structure appears to have moved on to another impasse with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee. The umbrella body will not accept the new memorandum of incorporation as it clashes with its affiliation guidelines. Simnikiwe Xabanisa asked Professor Steve Cornelius, the head of department of private law at the University of Pretoria, a sports law expert and a former director at CSA, to help map the way forward when two constitutions will not talk to each other.