SPORTS DAY: Come on you, er, Vegetarian Lions!
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Sundowns versus Leones Vegetarianos
Mamelodi Sundowns are up against a team with a delightfully contradictory name and a bizarre history when they get their African Champions League campaign under way on Wednesday. The Absa Premiership winners take on Leones Vegetarianos in the Equatorial Guinea capital of Malabo in the first leg of their first round tie. The idea of a lion being a vegetarian is an obvious absurdity but just as odd is the history of the club‚ the founder of which was Spaniard Juan Manuel Rojas whose desire to set up football structures in distant places was matched by his passion to spread his philosophy on a vegetarian diet and way of life.
Pirates want public support
Orlando Pirates have urged their supporters to descend on Orlando Stadium in great numbers as they get their CAF African Champions League campaign underway against Light Stars of Seychelles on Wednesday (7.30pm). Free State Stars make African debut
Free State Stars will become the 17th SA side to compete in continental club competition when they debut in the Confederation Cup against Rwandan side Mukura Victory Sports at the BidVest Stadium on Wednesday. They join the country’s big guns‚ but also the likes of Hellenic‚ Witbank Aces‚ Vaal Professionals‚ and two clubs who now compete in the ABC Motsepe League – Moroka Swallows and Santos. In all African club competition‚ SA sides have played 474 matches‚ winning 224 to go with 119 draws and 131 defeats.
Time for Liverpool to show away teeth
Paris Saint-Germain’s struggles to avoid an embarrassing group stage exit in the Champions League began when they fell victim to the aura of Anfield and Roberto Firmino’s stoppage time winner for Liverpool in September. But with the roles reversed and the Premier League side headed to the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, the French champions can take solace in the fact Liverpool pack a far weaker punch on the road in the Champions League.
Argentina’s endless cycle of football violence
The embarrassing postponement of the Copa Libertadores final thrust Argentina’s hooligan problem back into the spotlight, as well as society’s acceptance that it is part of football fan culture, analysts say. Argentina President Mauricio Macri admitted there had been a “security failure” on Saturday when Boca Juniors’ team bus came under attack from River Plate fans hurling pepper spray, stones and sticks. The presidents of both clubs insist the violence was caused by just “10 or 15 misfits,” but for sociologist Diego Murzi, hooligans (or barra bravas) are deeply entrenched in the country’s football-related activities.
Cost-cutter voted WPRFU president
Zelt Marais, new president of the embattled Western Province Rugby Football Union, ran on a ticket that included cutting salaries at the cash-strapped union by up to 25% for employees earning over R20,000 a month. He replaces Thelo Wakefield who served two terms from 2012-2018.
‘Wallabies should change overseas policy’
Australia should consider easing eligibility restrictions on overseas-based players to boost the Wallabies’ competitiveness, former World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer has said. Players based at overseas teams are ineligible for Wallabies selection unless they have played 60 tests under the so-called “Giteau rule” introduced in 2015. “We’re not that well off in depth that we can afford to lose top-line players,” said Dwyer.
Mick Schumacher moves up to F2
Michael Schumacher’s 19-year-old son Mick has moved a step closer to following his father into F1 after the Prema team announced that he will race for them in Formula Two next season. The series feeds into F1, and this year’s top three finishers – George Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon – have all secured seats with grand prix teams for 2019. Schumacher won the Formula Three European championship this year.
Rally not a ‘discount Dakar’ says race director
The 2019 Paris-Dakar Rally will not be a “cut price” edition in spite of being hosted for the first time by a single country, race director Etienne Lavigne said on Tuesday. This year Argentina, Chile and Bolivia all pulled out for reasons of austerity, leaving Peru as the sole host of the 41st edition.
Shah spins Pakistan to victory A record-equalling 14-wicket test haul from Yasir Shah gave Pakistan an innings and 16 run defeat over New Zealand in Dubai on Tuesday to level their three-match series. Shah, who took eight wickets for 41 runs in the first innings, equalled the record for the most wickets by a Pakistan bowler in a Test match set by Imran Khan against Sri Lanka in Lahore in 1982.
Gilmore wins seventh world surfing title Stephanie Gilmore clinched her seventh world surfing title at the season-ending Maui Pro event in Hawaii, equalling the record held by fellow Australian and Hall of Famer Layne Beachley. The 30-year-old from Queensland state is now four world titles shy of Kelly Slater’s all-time record of 11 on the men’s tour.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE