Jordaan a virtual shoo-in for another go on the Safa hotseat
Your roundup of sporting news from around the world
Jordaan‚ Ncobo bag Safa nominations
The race for South African football’s top job is reaching its final stretch after it emerged on Monday that incumbent Danny Jordaan and former Premier Soccer League GM Andile “Ace” Ncobo were the only candidates to receive nominations to the plum position. Politician Tokyo Sexwale‚ former Safa vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana‚ former Leeds United player Lucas Radebe and erstwhile Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba did not make the final list. The hotly-contested elections will be held on March 24.
Infantino still committed to VAR at World Cup
Fifa president Gianni Infantino has not had any second thoughts about using video assistant referees (VAR) at this year’s World Cup, he said on Monday, despite recent controversies involving the new technology. His Uefa counterpart Aleksander Ceferin said, however, that the system would not be used in next season’s Champions League. VAR, which allows match referees to review decisions on a pitchside monitor or by consulting an assistant who monitors the game on a video, has been trialed in a number of competitions over the past year. Soccer’s law-making body IFAB is expected to decide on Saturday whether to authorise its use on a permanent basis and Infantino has said that, if VAR is approved, Fifa will use it at this year’s World Cup in Russia.
League Cup just the start for City — De Bruyne
Manchester City didn’t get carried away with their League Cup celebrations, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne revealed, with bigger targets in their sights for the remainder of the season. City picked up their first silverware of the Pep Guardiola era by sweeping aside Arsenal 3-0 at Wembley on Sunday. However, a second trophy in the Premier League seems merely a matter of time with City enjoying a 13-point lead over Manchester United with a game in hand. And Guardiola’s men are also well set to make the Champions League quarter-finals after thrashing Basel 4-0 away in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. “It was quite mellow,” said De Bruyne of City’s dressing room celebrations just four days ahead of another meeting with Arsenal in the Premier League. “It is very nice to win but it is just the beginning, we still have a lot to play for and Thursday is another game.”
‘Some board members failed in their duties’
A veteran sports administrator yesterday said some SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee board members had failed in their duties by their poor handling of the disciplinary action against three employees. CEO Tubby Reddy‚ CFO Vinesh Maharaj and manager Jean Kelly were fired for various offences after an independent inquiry found them guilty and recommended their dismissal. But several of the board members didn’t support this recommendation‚ Ntambi Ravele told the committee of inquiry into Sascoc governance issues in Johannesburg on Monday.CRICKET
Morkel to retire after Aussie series
There will be a hole 1.96m tall in South Africa’s attack from April with the news that Morne Morkel has pulled the plug on his international career. Morkel told reporters in Durban on Monday that the Test series against Australia‚ which starts at Kingsmead on Thursday and is scheduled to end at the Wanderers on April 3‚ will be the last he will be seen in a South Africa shirt in any format. “I have a young family and a foreign wife‚ and the current demanding international schedule has put a lot of strain us. I have to put them first and this decision will only benefit us going forward.” Morkel and his Australian wife‚ Roz Kelly Morkel‚ have a young son.
Somerset’s Van der Merwe extends contract
Somerset all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the English county side until the end of the 2019 season. The 33-year-old, who has represented South Africa and The Netherlands at international level, began his second spell with the county in 2016. Van der Merwe averaged 70 in the domestic 50-over competition last year after kicking off the campaign with 165 not out from only 122 balls against Surrey.
Shock after Westgarth death
The death of heavyweight Scott Westgarth was described as a disaster by British Boxing chief Robert Smith on Monday although he said it was impossible to make the sport 100% safe. Westgarth, 31, won his fight against Dec Spelman in Doncaster on Saturday but looked uncomfortable as he was interviewed ringside after his points victory. He was taken to Royal Hallamshire Hospital but his condition deteriorated shortly before arrival and his death was confirmed by his promoter Stefy Bull on Monday. It was the first death in professional boxing since Canada’s Tim Hague died two days after a fight last June.
Alonso does six laps before a wheel comes off
Fernando Alonso did six laps of the Barcelona circuit before crashing into the gravel after a wheel came off his McLaren at the start of Formula One’s pre-season testing on Monday. The former world champions, who are starting a new engine partnership with Renault after three troubled years with Honda, played down the incident. “We had a wheel-nut issue, we’re fine,” executive director Zak Brown told reporters at the Circuit de Catalunya, with Alonso going back out again before the lunch break for a further four laps.
Stormers won’t play blame game as Crusaders loom
Stormers skills and attack coach Paul Feeney has come to the defence of inexperienced hooker Dean Muir after two crucial lost lineouts led directly to the Waratahs winning 34-27 in Sydney last Saturday. Muir and his jumpers failed to connect twice late in the game and from the second botched lineout‚ Waratahs flank Ned Hanigan scored the winning try. The result has put pressure on the Stormers in the build-up to a huge challenge against the defending champion Crusaders in Christchurch this weekend. “[Hooker] Dean Muir threw two perfect ‘darts’‚” Feeney said. “They were placed exactly where they were supposed to be‚ but our lifters and jumpers had a misunderstanding and we all saw the result.”
ITF announces World Cup of Tennis plan
A massive shake-up of the Davis Cup competition will see the formation of an 18-nation World Cup of Tennis Finals, the International Tennis Federation said on Monday. The one-week event played in one location in November could start next year, pending approval by the ITF’s board. In a statement outlining a 25-year, $3-billion partnership with investment group Kosmos, ITF president David Haggerty said it would be a game-changer for the competition. “Our vision is to create a major season-ending finale that will be a festival of tennis and entertainment, featuring the world’s greatest players representing their nations to decide the Davis Cup champions,” he said.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE