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SPORTS DAY: Bafana stars jet in for crucial Seychelles ties


SPORTS DAY: Bafana stars jet in for crucial Seychelles ties

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Bafana squad takes shape
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has confirmed that Dino Ndlovu‚ Lebo Phiri and Percy Tau are the last outstanding members of his squad yet to report for duty ahead of the crucial back-to-back 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Seychelles. Baxter said striker Percy Tau and Phiri boarded the same flight in Europe and they were both expected to touch down in Johannesburg later on Monday. “We are waiting for Dino Ndlovu. His flight was a little longer than anybody else‚” said Baxter on Monday. Baxter also disclosed that  Sundowns right back Thapelo Morena and Pirates winger Vincent Pule‚ who came to the camp with niggling injuries‚ would undergo late fitness scans.  Meanwhile, former Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett has been asked to join the technical staff as a temporary assistant for the Seychelles matches.
Referees are protected, says Pitso
Pitso Mosimane says champions Mamelodi Sundowns are always getting the short end of the stick as he bemoaned another refereeing decision after his side’s 1-1 draw against table-topping Bidvest Wits. Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet seemingly handled the ball outside of his penalty area, but he wasn’t blown for it. “In SA‚ these guys are protected‚ they don’t say sorry‚ they are not accountable.”
Ronaldo gets Ballon d’Or nomination  
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo was among the first 10 nominees for the men’s Ballon d’Or trophy announced on Monday, awarded by France Football magazine to the best player in the world. The Portuguese has won the award for the past two years and five times in total. Ronaldo’s nomination comes after the 33-year-old last week denied rape allegations levelled against him by a woman who sued him in court in the US.
Hazard still keen on ‘dream’ Real Madrid move
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has cast fresh doubt over his future despite a blistering start to the season by admitting he is still tempted by the childhood dream of a move to Real Madrid. “I am really in the game, I am playing good football at the moment. Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today. It is my dream since I was a kid. I was dreaming about this club. We will see,” said the Belgian, crowned the second best player at the World Cup.
Rassie rates SA’s chances at World Cup 
Rassie Erasmus says the Springboks are progressing very well and will be one of the top sides at the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year. “I am proud that the talent is coming through and we are close to matching a team like New Zealand because there has been one or two points difference in the last three matches we played in Cape Town‚ Wellington and Pretoria‚” he said. 
Cheika safe ... for now 
Michael Cheika will be hauled before Rugby Australia’s board in a review of the Wallabies’ poor Rugby Championship campaign but his coaching tenure is not up for discussion, the governing body’s CEO said. “We’re not talking about Michael Cheika being sacked as the head coach,” said Raelene Castle. “I don’t think that that is the scenario that we are talking about. We’re talking about changes to the whole environment.”
Hayden fractures spine in surf accident 
Test great Matthew Hayden said on Monday he had “dodged a bullet” after suffering head and neck injuries, including a spine fracture, while surfing during a holiday in Queensland. Hayden fractured his spine near the base of his neck, tore several ligaments and hurt his forehead after being dumped into a sandbank while surfing with his son Josh off North Stradbroke Island on Friday. Despite the scare, Hayden said he would return to surfing, adding: “The ocean gives and the ocean takes – I will be back.”  
Tway clinches first PGA Tour victory 
It has been 15 years since Bob Tway recorded the eighth and final PGA Tour victory of his career and on Sunday it was his son Kevin’s turn to savour that winning feeling after he survived a three-way playoff to win the Safeway Open. Tway beat Ryan Moore and Brandt Snedeker to claim the title in Napa, northern California. Snedeker had squandered a five-shot lead during the final round before being eliminated at the first extra hole at the Silverado Resort, Tway then sinking a 3m birdie at the third extra hole to beat Moore.
Living by the bow, arrow and booze in Bhutan 
Every weekend Bhutanese Pema Dorji channels his inner Robin Hood and aims for the bull’s-eye, but not without generous sips of the local brew and a leg-kicking dance and song routine. The likes of Dorji make up the vibrant archery scene in the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan where the traditional sport is a way of life for its 800,000 people. “Alcohol and archery go hand in hand,” said Tashi Dorji, the research and development officer with the Bhutan Indigenous Games and Sports Association. “We drink to gain confidence. We have a belief that if we drink we can hit the target better,” the 25-year-old said, barely hiding a sheepish grin.  Bhutan has sent archers to every Olympics since 1984 but a medal has eluded the nation.​
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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