SPORTS DAY: Bucs finally rapped for fan riot

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SPORTS DAY: Bucs finally rapped for fan riot

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sunday Times sports editor

SOCCER
At long last, Pirates punished for Loftus violence
Orlando Pirates have finally been punished for the actions of their supporters after disgruntled fans rushed onto the field and ran riot during a league match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld in February 2017. The Disciplinary Committee sanctioned Pirates to play two home matches behind closed doors, but one of these matches has been suspended for 24 months. The ugly scenes brought the game into disrepute in February last year. The PSL match was delayed for an hour after Percy Tau’s 82nd-minute sixth goal sparked a pitch invasion first by Pirates’ fans‚ then those of Sundowns in response‚ resulting in fistfights‚ violence and injuries.
Chiefs not in touch, says Eymael
Luc Eymael has had no contact from Kaizer Chiefs about the possibility of being their head coach next season‚ the Free State Stars coach has stressed. Stars meet Chiefs in Saturday’s Nedbank Cup semifinal at Moses Mabhida Stadium. That encounter has been spiced up like a Durban curry by reports linking Eymael to Chiefs‚ where Amakhosi’s current coach Steve Komphela’s chances of renewing his contract that ends in June have become increasingly slim as he approaches a third season trophyless at the helm of the Soweto giants. Eymael‚ though‚ who has transformed Stars from last season’s relegation candidates to a top-five PSL team this campaign‚ and Nedbank semifinalists‚ is adamant he has had no contact from Chiefs.
RUGBY
Whiteley’s knee still giving him gyp
Lions captain Warren Whiteley’s return from injury is back on ice after he felt a “click” in his troublesome knee. Last year’s Bok captain, who had been named in the Lions’ squad for their tour to Australasia‚ injured the same knee that suffered cruciate ligament damage against the Blues at the start of last month. “The knee swelled up overnight and he doesn’t feel comfortable with it‚” said the Lions’ team doctor Rob Collins. “As a precaution we will send him for a scan and he’ll see an orthopedic surgeon today (Tuesday). Depending what it shows‚ and I don’t think it is anything to be too worried about‚ he will join us a bit later.” With Whiteley still out Hacjivah Dayimani will keep possession of the No 8 jersey for Friday’s clash against the Waratahs.
Six uncapped Sharks players in Bok camp
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has called up 15 Sharks players to his final “alignment” camp before the June internationals. Erasmus included the uncapped Sbu Nkosi (wing)‚ André Esterhuizen (centre)‚ Robert du Preez (flyhalf)‚ Cameron Wright (scrumhalf)‚ Thomas du Toit (prop) and Akker van der Merwe (hooker) for the camp in Durban from April 22 to 25. Wright has been impressive in Super Rugby this season and along with regular Sharks starting scrumhalf Louis Schreuder have been one of the few players to have enhanced their reputations. Twin brothers Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez‚ who are already both capped Springboks‚ will welcome older brother Robert at camp‚ while fullback Curwin Bosch is also in the group.
ATHLETICS
No rest for golden girl CasterCaster Semenya will not get an opportunity to put up her feet and catch her breath after the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. The two-time 800m world champion will spend the next month with her coaching team reviewing her performances in preparation for what is expected to be another busy season on the track. Semenya is expected to be back on the track in May for the start of the IAAF Diamond League Series in Doha where she is the defending her 800m title. “The main thing for now is to get back to basics‚ be healthy and stay injury free throughout the season‚” she said.
Farah bids for London Marathon podium finish
British athletics great Mo Farah admitted on Tuesday he faces an uphill task to win Sunday’s London marathon with the likes of two-time winner Eliud Kipchoge in the field, but says he will fight for a podium place. The 35-year-old Somalia-born runner — who twice achieved the 5,000-10,000m Olympic double — said one bonus for his third attempt is that he no longer has to think about conserving energy for a track campaign. Farah, who stopped at the halfway point in the 2013 race and finished eighth in 2014, retired from the track at the end of last season after just missing out on a third successive world championship 5km-10km double in London.
SOCCER
IPL and SA players becoming strange bedfellows
The nine South Africans in this year’s Indian Premier League might have filled 83 player berths in the 13 games played until Monday. Instead they’ve made only 13 appearances and just three of them have played in all of their team’s games. That will please South Africans who regard the IPL and its ilk as a dangerous aberration in a game that should be all about the international arena and the domestic scene. But others might wonder if cricket’s most high-profile event is falling out of love with players from this country. In 2016 the IPL had 16 players from SA‚ the same number as in 2015‚ and in 2014 there were 15. From 2009 to 2012 there were at least 19.
FORMULA ONE
Barrichello reveals he had stroke, tumourBrazil’s ex-Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello, 45, has revealed that he had a mild stroke and had surgery to remove a tumour from his neck in January, beating the odds to recover. “I was at home taking a shower when suddenly I felt pain in my head. On a scale of zero to 10 it reached eight or nine,” he told Globo Television. “I thought, oh no, my motor’s broken.” In hospital he learnt he has suffered a mild stroke. “When I got out of hospital, they told me that barely 14% manage to recover the way I did,” the 45-year-old Barrichello said. Doctors afterwards discovered a benign tumour in his neck.
CYCLING
Ex-Armstrong doctor provided drugs to Spaniards
Spain’s Olympic track cycling team from Atlanta 1996 was supplied banned substances by Lance Armstrong’s disgraced former doctor, Michele Ferrari, El Pais newspaper reported on Tuesday.  According to a 2016 testimony, seen by El Pais, from Spanish doctor Luis Garcia del Moral, the Spanish Cycling Federation took part in a doping programme between 1993 and 1998.  Del Moral, who was the track cycling team’s medical manager at the time, told the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2016 that Ferrari had provided corticosteroids, EPO and growth hormones. 
BASKETBALL
Curry tops list of NBA's most popular jerseys
For the third consecutive season, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors top the NBA’s list of most popular jerseys and team merchandise, respectively. Rankings are based on sales from the league’s official online store. The Philadelphia 76ers were No 3 in team merchandise sales behind the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. Philadelphia placed centre Joel Embiid (eighth) and guard Ben Simmons (10th) in the top 10 of jersey sales. The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics round out the top five most popular teams.
TimesLIVE, Reuters and AFP

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