SPORTS DAY: An exorcist is what Solinas chiefly needs

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SPORTS DAY: An exorcist is what Solinas chiefly needs

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports editor

SOCCER
‘Why three seasons without a trophy?’
Kaizer Chiefs’ failure to win a trophy in the past three seasons has been the dominant thought on new coach Giovanni Solinas’s mind and the Italian conceded that he will be under considerable pressure to exorcise this demon on Saturday. Chiefs host Free State Stars in a potentially tricky MTN8 quarterfinal at FNB Stadium and Solinas is well aware that he will go into this game with his back against the wall after his side’s 3-1 home defeat to BidVest Wits in the league on Tuesday night. ‘‘About the pressure‚ every coach‚ every player that comes here to Kaizer Chiefs needs to understand‚ needs to accept that pressure‚” the 50-year-old Solinas said. ‘‘Our job is to close the pressure because this is a big club that has got high expectations from the fans. We need to manage this pressure for the positive.”
GOLF
Hack attack on PGA Championship
Hackers have attacked golf’s fourth major, the PGA Championship, which began on Thursday, seeking a ransom, according to a report from Golfweek.com. The PGA of America, which operates the PGA Championship, would not confirm the report offering only a “no comment”. According to the Golfweek.com story hackers hijacked the PGA of America’s computer servers, locking officials out of crucial files related to this week’s championship at Bellerive Country Club and next month’s Ryder Cup in Paris. PGA of America staff realised on Tuesday their system had been compromised, and received a warning that came with a threat, the report said: “Your network has been penetrated. All files on each host in the network have been encrypted with a strong algorythm.” “This may lead to the impossibility of recovery of certain files.”
SOCCER
Mourinho takes swipe at United’s detractors
Jose Mourinho has taken a swipe at Manchester United’s detractors a day before his side’s Premier League opener at home to Leicester City. United’s boss, about to begin his third season at the helm at Old Trafford, has cut a disgruntled figure during the summer, apparently unhappy with the club’s transfer window activity. Mourinho sounded pessimistic that he would make any last-minute signings when talking to media on Thursday. “I’m not confident, I’m not confident and the market closes today, so is time at least for me to stop thinking about the market because the market will be closed,” he said. “I will have to focus on the players I have and in relation to this first couple of matches.” But he was quick to point out his United side were closest to runaway leaders Manchester City last season, even if they finished 19 points adrift.
RUGBY
All Blacks remember pain of Wallabies defeat
All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster says he is still smarting from last October’s defeat to Australia and hopes his players will carry memories of that rare loss into their Rugby Championship opener against the Wallabies next week. After retaining the Bledisloe Cup, the symbol of trans-Tasman superiority, by beating Australia in the first two games of the Rugby Championship last season, the All Blacks were stunned 23-18 by Michael Cheika’s side in the dead-rubber match. “I try to move on, but it is still there,” Foster told reporters of the loss at Lang Park, where the Wallabies ended a seven-game losing streak to New Zealand. “We saw that after the game, how much it meant to them. “It still hurts.”
CYCLING
After Tour crash, Gilbert is back on his bike
Belgian Philippe Gilbert, who broke a kneecap in a spectacular crash on the Tour de France, posted on social media on Thursday that he is back in the saddle. “First time on the bike after my crash,” he wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “Hope to be back in action this year.” Gilbert accompanied the post with a video that included him flying over a wall during a high-speed descent, giving a brief interview, showing off the scars on his left knee, and riding a stationary bike. The 36-year-old former road-race world champion crashed on the descent of Porte d’Aspet in the Pyrenees on July 24 and fell into a ravine.
GOLF
‘Battle of giants’ expected as France hosts Ryder Cup
Most of the world’s greatest golfers will visit France next month for the 42nd Ryder Cup, with US and Europe captains predicting a “battle of giants” in the heated rivalry. The biennial showdown between September 28 and 30 at Le Golf National near Paris will match holders the US, who haven’t won on European soil since 1993, against a Europe squad that won six of seven before falling in 2016. “I think you’ve got a battle of two giants,” US captain Jim Furyk said. “You look at the world rankings right now, the top 20 players, they’re dominated by Europeans and Americans.”
CRICKETStokes ‘could have killed me’
Ryan Hale, a former soldier allegedly knocked out by Ben Stokes, said the England cricketer “could have killed me”, their trial heard on Thursday, as the ex-serviceman was formally cleared of affray. Stokes, Hale and a third man, Ryan Ali, were in the Bristol Crown Court on Thursday for the fourth day of their trial for alleged affray in the southwest English city on September 25 2017. After the prosecution concluded its case against the three men, judge Peter Blair told the jury to find Hale, 28, not guilty. “I am directing you to find him not guilty in my analysis of the evidence,” he said. The court has seen security camera footage of Stokes, 27, brawling with Hale and Ali on a Bristol street. The prosecution has said Stokes first knocked out Hale, then 27-year-old Ali. On Thursday, jurors heard that Hale told police in a formal interview: “I’m a dad. He could have killed me. I don’t know why he didn’t stop. He could have beaten the living hell out of me. It’s shocking to see someone doing that to someone who didn’t do anything wrong.” Hale said he and his friend Ali had been walking away from Mbargo nightclub, along with William O’Connor and Kai Barry, two openly gay regulars at the club.
OLYMPICS
Games committee ‘regrets’ North Korea goods ban
The International Olympic Committee expressed regret on Thursday after the United Nations refused to lift a ban on sports goods exports to North Korea. The UN’s sanctions committee approved measures on Wednesday allowing aid groups and UN bodies to gain exemption status from sanctions adopted to end North Korea’s nuclear programme. Sporting goods were excluded, however. “The IOC has noted with regret that the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee has not granted an exemption on sporting goods for North Korean athletes,” the IOC said. “This makes it more difficult for the IOC to accomplish its mission to bring athletes from all over the world together to promote understanding and friendship regardless of political background or any other differences.” 
GOLF
‘My time was short’ - Aussie golfer dead at 36
Tributes flowed for Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle on Thursday after he lost his battle with cancer, dying at the age of 36 after halting treatment for leukaemia last week. “It breaks my heart to tell everyone that Jarrod is no longer with us,” his wife Briony said. The former US PGA Tour player, who had children aged six and two, passed away on Wednesday evening at his home outside Melbourne, surrounded by family and friends. “Lusi, Jemma and I are filled with grief and now must confront our lives without the greatest husband and father we could ever have wished for,” added his wife. Lyle moved into palliative care on August 1 to see out his final days, saying his body could not “take anymore” after acute myeloid leukaemia returned for a third time.
BASKETBALLLakers, Warriors to meet on Christmas Day
LeBron James and Stephen Curry are the headliners for the NBA’s annual Christmas Day marathon, with the Los Angeles Lakers visiting the Golden State Warriors as part of a five-game slate. The NBA released its official schedule this week, confirming rumored, if expected, primetime billing for the Warriors and Lakers. Opening night on October 16, the earliest start to the NBA regular season since 1980, will feature the Warriors’ ring presentation before a meeting with Kevin Durant’s former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Preceding that game will be the Philadelphia 76ers facing the Celtics in Boston.
AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE

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