What’s in City Press Sport: ‘Let the fans back in’; Masutha comes face-to-face with Chippa

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City Press Sport | April 11 2021
City Press Sport | April 11 2021

SPORT


Here’s what to expect in City Press Sport:

COLUMNS

Tim Spirit: Mpengesi’s Eymael move didn’t make sense at all

How ironic is it that Nelson Mandela Bay, a metropolis named after a man who fought racism – former president Nelson Mandela – was this week in the middle of a storm over the objection that followed Chippa United’s hiring of coach Luc Eymael, who stands accused of racism?

In the end, sanity prevailed and Chippa aborted their plan to appoint the Belgian as technical director due to public and political pressure. One wonders just what club boss Chippa Mpengesi was trying to achieve here, for it doesn’t make sense at all, writes Timothy Molobi.

Hanging Judge: Woman ref is brutally attacked

I highlighted on my show last week an appalling incident in which a woman assistant referee was attacked during a game in Nepal. The very disturbing photo circulating in the media showed blood streaming from behind her ear.

On the day, she was innocent of any wrongdoing. The attack on her was in response to the decisions made by the referee that some players did not agree with. In a subsequent hearing, four players were each suspended for two years, two others got a year each and the coach of the offending team was suspended for 18 months. In my opinion, that is a mere slap on the wrist for an act of thuggery; a brutal and unprovoked attack, writes Errol Sweeney.

Side Entry: Lions series – how are the Boks runaway favourites?

Before bringing the mood down, one should probably declare that not only is this writer a man of nervous disposition, I’m also an eternal pessimist. This goes a long way towards explaining why I’m a little taken aback by the South African rugby fans’ bulletproof confidence in the Springboks’ prospects in their upcoming series against the British & Irish Lions. The prevailing feeling seems to be the Lions – a composite side made up of World Cup finalists England, semifinalists Wales, and quarterfinalists Ireland and Scotland – will be lucky to win one of the three or four tests in the series, writes Simnikiwe Xabanisa.

STORIES

Kaizer Motaung’s plea: Let the fans back in

Amakhosi boss Kaizer Motaung finds it strange that crowds are allowed indoors, but are still banned from stadiums. Motaung also shares how playing behind closed doors has contributed to Chiefs’ on-field decline.

Kaizer Motaung reflects on Ellis Park disaster

Twenty years ago, 43 people were crushed to death in a stampede during the Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

Amakhosi chairperson Kaizer Motaung this week reflected on that fateful day in 2001, saying his thoughts will always be with the affected families.

Sundowns could still smash Chiefs’ PSL record

Kaizer Chiefs might be struggling this season, but Amakhosi come into sharp focus each time Mamelodi Sundowns record a new milestone. This is because Chiefs hold a number of longstanding records in the PSL era, but some of those marks are now under threat as the swashbuckling Sundowns move in.

Bucs face Libyans minus battle-scarred warriors

Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates defender Innocent Maela is among a handful of South African players who have crisscrossed the continent during the Covid-19 pandemic while on club and country duties. The 28-year-old has also lost count of how many times he has taken a Covid-19 test. Luckily this time, Maela and his club team-mates will not be on the next plane out of the country.

Bucs host Ahli Benghazi of Libya in the return leg of the CAF Confederation Cup group game at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday – without Maela and few other seasoned players.

Joel Masutha comes face-to-face with Chippa

Qualifying for the Nedbank Cup final with Pretoria Callies would be extra sweet for coach Joel Masutha. Callies will take on Chippa United in the semifinal of the Ke Yona Cup on Saturday.

The game will come just a week after Chippa, Masutha’s former club, was embroiled in a coaching fiasco. The 51-year-old was fired twice from the Chilli Boys. Not only would it be a huge personal accomplishment for him, but Callies would be only the fourth first-division side to qualify for the final of the lucrative Nedbank Cup.

A Limpopo brand with flair makes strides in PSL

Proudly South African sportswear brand Monflair is taking the PSL by storm. Monflair, which has been mistaken for an international brand, has its founding roots in the heart of Limpopo.

The brand’s co-founder, Mahlako Mahapa, takes City Press back to where it all began, and explains the details behind the designs on the Baroka and Chippa United players’ kits.

When football meets fashion

Fashion and football have always had a symbiotic relationship, so it comes as no surprise that local brands like Tshepo Jeans and Drip Footwear sneakers are collaborating with PSL clubs.

From courier to SA Rugby Sevens guru

At the age of 22, he “retired” from professional rugby because the game no longer brought him the same joy he had experienced as a promising junior player. And it didn’t help that he was not offered another contract when his deal with the Lions came to an end. A dark cloud hung over Sandile Ngcobo – so dark that he could no longer see a future in rugby; a future that had been laid out for him from a young age. Ngcobo, a former Springbok Sevens player and current coach of the Blitzboks’ academy team, was forced to find a job…

Wayde-less SA Champs throw up more questions than answers

Already facing the prospect of being held at a stadium with no fans due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the Athletics SA Senior Track and Field Championships are likely to be further dampened by the absence of sprinting drawcard Wayde van Niekerk. The reigning Olympic 400m champion and world record-holder, who has been coming along nicely with each outing in what is effectively his third comeback from a knee injury sustained in 2017, will most likely not make it to the Tuks Athletics Stadium in Pretoria, where the nationals are being held from Thursday to Saturday.

Makhaya Ntini’s son moves to third team in three years

Thando Ntini is in line to play for his third first-class team by the age of 21, having signed for the Dolphins following the conclusion of the domestic cricket season. Ntini, the son of Proteas fast bowling great Makhaya Ntini, has left the Titans – who, ironically, recently lost the CSA Four-Day Cup to the Dolphins – having only joined them last season from the Cobras.

Rainbow Cup: SA teams dropped from series

SA Rugby’s four top teams have been dealt a huge blow after their participation in the Pro14 Rainbow Cup series was unexpectedly cancelled this week.

The participation of the Bulls, the Lions, the Sharks and the Stormers in the northern hemisphere tournament received the knock out “from forces outside rugby”.

Province turn attention to Marx

Western Province has turned its full attention to attempting to recruit World Cup-winning Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx, having toyed with the idea of luring former Cheetahs hooker Joseph Dweba from France. News out of France is that Dweba, who only last year joined French club side Bordeaux Begles, is keen to stay on in the Top 14 to make amends for a less than stellar debut season in the competition.


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