SPORTS DAY: Salah crowns an epic season with another prize
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Salah voted England’s Footballer of the Year
Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah has been voted Player of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association to complete the double of English soccer's major individual awards. Salah was chosen as player of the year by the Professional Footballers Association after an outstanding season in which he has scored 43 goals in all competitions. The 25-year-old is the first African player to win the FWA award which began in 1948. Salah narrowly beat Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne in a ballot of over 400 FWA members, with the winning margin being less than 20 votes. Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was placed third.
‘Only Sundowns said they wanted the PSL title’
Mamelodi Sundowns were the only team who said they wanted the Absa Premiership title‚ and so they won it‚ coach Pitso Mosimane has said. Sundowns wrapped up the league title on Saturday with a 3-1 win against Ajax Cape Town at Lucas Moripe Stadium. “But we’re supposed to win the league‚ hey‚ at Sundowns,” Mosimane said. “We wanted it. So if you say that you want it‚ and you behave that you want it‚ you will get it. Because no one can talk about wanting the league‚ because no one said they wanted it. We were the only ones who said it.” Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic repeatedly played down his side’s title credentials. Kaizer Chiefs said they wanted to win the title but‚ given how their season imploded‚ their challenge was never so serious. The other two teams in the top five‚ Maritzburg United and Free State Stars‚ were just happy to be there.
Liverpool on the brink as tensions mount in RomeLiverpool return to the scene of two of their most famous European triumphs amid tight security ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal, second leg clash in Rome. Jurgen Klopp’s side are on the brink of reaching the final of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since 2007 as they look to defend a three-goal advantage against AS Roma in the Italian capital. But off-pitch tensions are high as Liverpool supporter Sean Cox lies in a coma after being attacked before last week’s first leg in Anfield. Two Roma supporters were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and club legend Francesco Totti has appealed for “fair play, hospitality and respect for our opponents”.
‘Ajax have to believe they will beat Kaizer Chiefs’
Ajax Cape Town have to believe that they will beat Kaizer Chiefs‚ or they are doomed for the promotion-relegation playoffs‚ their coach Muhsin Ertugral has said. After losing 3-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday Ajax remain rooted in second-last place and have to beat Chiefs at Cape Town Stadium in the Absa Premiership’s final round on May 12‚ and hope for other teams to lose‚ to escape the playoffs. “We have to believe in that‚ that we will beat Chiefs‚” Ertugral said. “I mean‚ we have beaten so many good teams this season‚ including Orlando Pirates at home 3-0. So this team can win at home.”
‘Man Utd have laid down marker for next season’Ashley Young believes Manchester United have laid down a marker for next season at their end of a frustrating Premier League campaign that Manchester City turned into a procession. Jose Mourinho’s men have the FA Cup final against Chelsea as chance to build on what looks set to be their best league finish since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. United boss Mourinho is determined to wrap up second spot behind City but full-back Young, who has impressed this term, regrets chances missed. Sunday’s 2-1 win against Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal came after victories against City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool over the past couple of months. “We want to keep winning,” full-back Young said. “We want to keep up the momentum to the end of the season and the FA Cup final.”
Watson and Bailey to join captains in Australia review
Former Test players Shane Watson and George Bailey will join Australia captains Tim Paine and Rachael Haynes on a panel tasked with drafting a charter of behaviour in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, Cricket Australia said on Tuesday. The player review, to be overseen by former Test opener Rick McCosker, would also include fast bowler Pat Cummins and Darren Lehmann’s replacement as coach of the men’s team, CA said. CA have also appointed Dr Simon Longstaff, executive director of the Sydney-based Ethics Centre, to lead a separate independent review into the governing body.
Bok prop Malherbe doubtful for StormersSpringbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe is unlikely to feature for the Stormers against the Bulls in their crucial Super Rugby match at Newlands on Saturday. After a lengthy layoff with a neck injury Malherbe has been back at training but hasn’t been included in any match-day squads yet. The last time the two sides met‚ the Bulls dominated the Stormers’ scrum‚ particularly in the first quarter of the match‚ and that laid the platform for their 33-23 victory at Loftus.
Wallaby Phipps fined for urinating on a bar
New South Wales Waratahs back Nick Phipps has been fined after admitting to urinating on a bar while wearing a cow costume during his stag night at a Sydney venue. The Wallabies scrumhalf was kicked out of the Woollahra Hotel a day after he played in the Waratahs’ 29-0 defeat to the Lions in their Super Rugby match on April 20. The Waratahs said they had completed an investigation into the incident and fined the 29-year-old A$4,000.
Phuzi earns respect from knockout of ThompsonNewly-crowned Gauteng cruiserweight champion Akani “Prime” Phuzi’s stunning second-round knockout of Chris “The Wolf” Thompson has earned him the respect of International Boxing Organisation cruiserweight champion Kevin “KO Kid” Lerena. Phuzi is already rated No 4 locally and the title is held by Lerena’s stablemate Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu. Lerena said that he would not mind working out with Phuzi‚ who demonstrated good power in knocking over Thompson in their eagerly-awaited rematch. “I like Akani and Thompson too‚” Lerena remarked about the new boys on the cruiserweight block.
Hamilton accuses Vettel of breaking rules
Lewis Hamilton reopened old wounds on Monday when the Mercedes driver accused title rival Sebastian Vettel of breaking the rules during Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Hamilton repeated his complaint made during Sunday’s race when he accused the German Ferrari driver of slowing and accelerating, almost stopping and then restarting, while they followed the Safety Car.
Reuters, AFP, TimesLIVE