SPORTS DAY: Mbappé is just Kylian it as ‘future of soccer’

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SPORTS DAY: Mbappé is just Kylian it as ‘future of soccer’

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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SOCCER
Time magazine’s latest cover star
Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappé’s rapid rise to global fame has earned the teenage World Cup winner an appearance on the cover of Time magazine’s international edition, to appear on Friday. Time said Mbappé was a global superstar who “is the future of soccer”. Mbappé made headlines in September 2017 when he moved from Ligue 1 side Monaco to Paris Saint-Germain for a staggering €180m, a deal that saw the then 18-year-old player handed a reported monthly salary of €1.5m.
‘Apartheid SABC paid more for Bafana’ ...
SA soccer lovers face the threat of yet another Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana blackout. The SA Football Association said in a strongly worded statement on Thursday that said “all future international football matches involving national teams will not be broadcast on any SABC platforms” after rejecting an offer by the national broadcaster. “It is interesting to note that even the apartheid run SABC of old made a better offer to the association for their rights in this country.”
... But ticket sales are healthy
Organisers are on target to surpass their target of ticket sales for Bafana Bafana’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles at FNB Stadium on Saturday‚ with 13‚536 tickets sold by midday on Thursday. Given the low-key nature of the opposition in 189th-ranked minnows Seychelles‚ Stadium Management‚ which oversees FNB Stadium‚ had only targeted 15‚000 ticket sales for the game at the 94‚000-seater venue. However, with the rest of Thursday and whole of Friday remaining to sell tickets‚ now organisers are hoping for sales approaching the 20‚000 mark. The figure of 13‚536 includes complimentary tickets given away.
Uefa to pay more for Nations League
The 55 national teams currently participating in the inaugural Uefa Nations League will see a 50% increase in solidarity fees paid to them, European soccer’s governing body Uefa has said. The 12 strongest teams based on Uefa rankings – divided into four groups of three in League A – will each receive €2.25m in solidarity fees, an increase of €750,000 from the amount announced in March.
Football seeks answers over dementia link Does heading a football give you dementia? That’s the question neuropathologist Willie Stewart is attempting to answer by comparing the health of thousands of former footballers with non-players. “The problem is that bad science comes from anecdotes and they are all we have got,” he said. “One has to know whether for instance the other teams in the 1966 World Cup, do they have similar levels of dementia?” he said. “Or is it just a quirk of statistics that it has fallen on the England team?”
CRICKET
Australia fight to draw first Test
Australia, led by a fighting 141 by opener Usman Khawaja, hung on to draw the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai, keeping the two-Test alive on Thursday. Chasing 462 to win, Australia finished on 362-8 as both teams shook hands with one delivery to go in the Test at Dubai stadium.
Sticky wicket as China crash to 26 all out
China may have the world’s biggest population and the second largest economy, but they are yet to impress in one area: the cricket field, where they have been humbled by minnows Nepal. China’s latest foray on the international stage ended in a huge defeat on Wednesday as they scored only 26 all out in a World Twenty20 qualifier, a total which Nepal surpassed in just 11 balls.
‘Joe Root could be world’s best’ Shane Warne believes England should seriously consider replacing Joe Root with Jos Buttler as Test captain to allow Root to focus on becoming the world’s best batsman. Australia spin great Warne says the Yorkshire star could dominate the global game with the bat.
ATHLETICS
Hard times for Comrades runners
Comrades Marathon organisers have bumped up prize money for next year’s race and toughened qualifying times to bump stragglers off the course. Race director Rowyn announced at a launch in Johannesburg on Thursday that the total prize fund had increased 8.5% to R4.3m‚ with the men’s and women’s winners to receive R500‚000 each. RUGBY
Lions must perform
Having played in fits and starts for the bulk of their Currie Cup campaign‚ the Golden Lions are looking for an 80-minute performance when they clash with the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday. Anything short of a complete performance may put paid to their Currie Cup aspirations as a win for the Pumas could potentially lift them above the Lions into fourth sport and a place in the semifinals.
Willemse to start at flyhalf
Damian Willemse will start at flyhalf for Western Province when they meet the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. Willemse‚ 20‚ was the Stormers’ regular starting flyhalf this season but has recently been making cameos at fullback for the Springboks. Meanwhile, Blue Bulls coach Pote Human said experience was the factor that made him choose Ivan van Zyl ahead of Embrose Papier.
TENNIS
Djokovic holding out for ‘Super World Cup’
Novak Djokovic wants to see a tennis “Super World Cup” and strongly suggested that he will join Alexander Zverev in skipping the new Davis Cup finals. A new-format Davis Cup finale is slated for a week in Madrid in November 2019, but it has been controversial with some fans and players. Djokovic is backing instead the rival ATP World Team Cup, set to take place weeks later at the start of the 2020 season in Australia.​
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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