SPORTS DAY: SABC too broke to broadcast Bafana Bafana

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SPORTS DAY: SABC too broke to broadcast Bafana Bafana

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports editor

SOCCER
No more Bafana matches on cash-strapped SABC 
Soccer lovers face a Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana blackout after it emerged on Monday that the cash-strapped SABC is too broke to broadcast national team matches. Attempts to negotiate a new Bafana and Banyana contract have hit a dead end as the SABC owes the SA Football Association (Safa) over R50m from the previous agreement that ended in April. Unimpressed Safa CEO Dennis Mumble said the SABC has displayed an indifferent attitude towards football and there’s a strong possibility that Bafana’s 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers against Libya in September and the Seychelles in October will not be broadcast on TV and radio. Empty coffers also led to the SABC failing to broadcast the opening weekend of the Absa premiership.
Bloemfontein Celtic sold for R40m 
Bloemfontein Celtic have been sold in principle for R40m to Free State businesswoman Sinki Leshabane‚ who now has 30 days to come up with the funds to complete the transaction. Leshabane is linked to Free State ABC Motsepe League side Mangaung United‚ while reports also indicate that local businessman Moeketsi Mosola will also be part of the new management team. Celtic owner Max Tshabalala has applied for provisional liquidation having been unable to pay players and backroom staff on time over the last few months.
Frenetic finale to Premier League transfer window 
The transfer deadline for Premier League clubs arrives on Thursday and given the shortened space for completing deals a late flurry of moves is expected to dominate the build-up to the new season. Manchester United and Leicester City kick off the new campaign at Old Trafford on Friday and in the coming days club officials will be frantically seeking to complete the paperwork on transfers and contracts and complete due diligence such as medical tests.
CRICKET
Steyn wants one last tilt at World CupDale Steyn is determined to make next year’s World Cup his limited overs swansong and thinks his experience could make a big difference to SA’s otherwise raw white-ball pace attack. The paceman is happy to admit that Kagiso Rabada is now “way better” than him, but the 35-year-old thinks the knowledge he has garnered from 116 ODIs and two previous World Cups could be invaluable in England. “Our biggest problem in white ball cricket now is our bowling,” said Steyn. “If you look at our top six batters, those guys have all played 800-plus games. But if you look at our bowling, our bottom four, they have probably played 150 games. That’s a massive difference. There’s a heavy weight that weighs up there.”
RUGBY
Retaining Kolisi as Bok captain was easy for ErasmusSpringbok coach Rassie Erasmus said it was an easy decision to retain Siya Kolisi as captain for the Rugby Championship‚ which starts against Argentina on August 18. Kolisi captained the Boks to a 2-1 series win over England in June and was initially only appointed for that series. But when Erasmus named his 35-man squad for the Championship‚ Kolisi was elected captain over returning former captains Warren Whiteley and Eben Etzebeth. Kolisi became the first black African to captain the Boks in a Test match and his appointment‚ while celebrated‚ also came with a lot of emotion and pressure on the 27-year-old’s shoulders. “It was a no-brainer decision for me and there was no doubt in my mind that Siya would continue as captain‚” Erasmus said.
Elton has Rassie’s backing
Beleaguered Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies has received the backing and support of Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus after an underwhelming performance in last Saturday’s Super Rugby final. The Lions lost 37-18 against the Crusaders in Christchurch. Jantjies made several costly errors‚ including taking the ball back into the in-goal area and dotting down‚ resulting in a 5m scrum for the Crusaders‚ which led to a try. Despite some very good performances throughout the season‚ Jantjies has never reproduced that form in finals or at Test level. Erasmus, though‚ believes he is unfairly criticised and that it’s up to the Bok coaches to make him a more complete player. 
Coles back in All Blacks squad
Captain Kieran Read and Dane Coles have been recalled to the All Blacks squad for the Rugby Championship, while Sonny Bill Williams has also been included despite being injured. Read only returned to the field following back surgery last year after the June test series against France but was almost back to his best in the Canterbury Crusaders’ Super Rugby final against the Lions on Saturday.  Coles is yet to make his comeback following knee surgery, but All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said last week he would be in the squad.
TENNIS
Kuznetsova survives four match points to winSvetlana Kuznetsova fended off four match points en route to a 4-6 7-6(7) 6-2 win over Czech Donna Vekic in the Citi Open final in Washington on Sunday. It took a remarkable comeback by the 2014 champion to win an 11th consecutive match in the US capital and secure her 18th career title. Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open and 2009 French Open champion, was once ranked as high as second in the world but has fallen to No. 128 after injuries and undergoing wrist surgery last November, making her the lowest-ranked player to win the tournament.
FORMULA ONE
Niki Lauda in ‘very satisfying’ state after operation
Three-time Formula One champion Niki Lauda is in a “very satisfying” state four days after undergoing an emergency lung transplant following an infection, Vienna’s general hospital said on Monday. “Already 24 hours after surgery Mr Lauda could be extubated, was spontaneously breathing and had full consciousness,” the hospital said. Lauda, 69, had cut short his holiday in Ibiza at the end of July and returned to Vienna for treatment after developing a lung infection. He was made a priority for a transplant after having to be put on an artificial lung. The poisonous gases inhaled during his infamous 1976 accident — where rescuers took almost a minute to pull him from his burning car — have caused a steady decline in the strength of his lungs.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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