SPORTS DAY: It just gets worse for Chiefs
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Chiefs hit new low with defeat to part-timers
Kaizer Chiefs’ stuttering season hit a new low on Tuesday when they lost 2-1 to part-timers Zimamoto in their African Confederation Cup preliminary round second-leg clash in Zanzibar City. Chiefs advance to the next round with a 5-2 aggregate success‚ but their defeat in the second leg is among the most humiliating in SA’s 25 years of competing in African club competition. Yussuf Mtuba converted two penalties for the home side‚ taking Chiefs’ tally of spot kicks conceded to four in their past two games‚ while Lebo Manyama pulled them level in the second half with his first goal for the club. Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas rested talisman Khama Billiat‚ the hat-trick hero from the first leg‚ but still selected a starting side with 10 international players‚ left-back Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya the odd one out.
Sascoc inquiry report expected on Friday
Sports minister Tokozile Xaza will release the long-awaited final report of the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry into the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) on Friday. TimesLIVE has been reliably informed that after numerous postponements, which have irked some members of the public‚ Xasa is ready to make the findings of the report that looked into governance issues at Sascoc public. On Tuesday, DA sports and recreation spokesperson Tsepo Mhlongo said they staged a walkout of a committee meeting after Xasa failed to appear. “Instead‚ they wanted us to discuss minutes.”
Blitzboks put Dubai behind them
The Blitzboks took time out of training on Tuesday to play a game of football‚ which showed some surprisingly good round-ball skills although finishing‚ just like it was with an oval ball in Dubai last week‚ was lacking. By the admission of several key players including Rosko Specman‚ Werner Kok and Branco du Preez‚ the Blitzboks were under par last weekend when they finished sixth in the Emirate. But they have also moved on from their disappointing display as they focus on trying to win the Cape Town leg of the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series. It would put them immediately back on track in terms of the overall title. The team’s line-out and attack session at Bishops in Cape Town looked sharp and focused, but Werner Kok said it’s Thursday’s defence session that really matters.
Khan a welcome addition for Durban Heat
Afghanistan’s effervescent leg-spinner Rashid Khan is a welcome addition for the Durban Heat, but is the arrival of the world’s most exciting leggie a case of too little too late for the Mzansi Super League basement dwellers? This question will be answered on Wednesday night at Kingsmead when they host the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants. The equation is straightforward for Grant Morgan’s side: Lose and the last three games are merely academic. The mathematics is relatively simple for the Durban side: If they win their next four matches with bonus points‚ they’ll finish on 24 points. Currently‚ that’s one less than the log-leading Cape Town Blitz‚ whom the Heat still need to face on December 9.
Ballon D’Or host apologises for ‘twerk’ request
French DJ Martin Solveig apologised and said he was taken aback by the stormy reaction online after he asked the inaugural women’s Ballon D’Or winner Ada Hegerberg whether she could “twerk” live on stage. The awards co-host in Paris provoked a torrent of complaints about sexism with his question about the sexually suggestive dance, which received a blunt “No” from the unamused Norwegian striker. The incident was a major talking point despite Hegerberg’s achievement in becoming the first winner of the women’s Ballon D’Or, an award that has been handed to male footballers since 1956. Solveig, a musician and radio host, apologised in person to Hegerberg and said he was “astonished” at the reaction. “Guys I’m a little bit amazed, astonished by what I’m reading on the internet,” he said in a video posted on Twitter. “Of course I didn’t want to offend anyone ... This was a joke, probably a bad one, and I want to apologise for the one I may have offended.”
Pakistan’s Hafeez to retire from Test cricket
Struggling Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez said on Tuesday he will be retiring from Test cricket after the ongoing third and final match against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi. The 38-year-old has managed just 66 runs in seven innings since scoring 100 against Australia in Dubai last month following his Test recall after two years away. The Abu Dhabi Test is Hafeez’s 55th since making his debut against Bangladesh in 2003. He has so far scored 3,644 runs with 10 hundreds and 12 half-centuries, with the chance to add to that in his second innings in this Test. “I feel time is up. I am announcing my retirement and feel happy that I worked hard in my career,” said Hafeez, who has also played 203 one-day internationals and 89 Twenty20s. He would “continue to play limited-over matches”.
IAAF maintains Russia’s ban from athletics
The governing body of world athletics on Tuesday maintained Russia’s ban from track and field over mass state-backed doping, citing two conditions before the powerhouse can return to international competition. Rune Andersen, head of the IAAF’s task force on Russia, said Russian authorities, in the form of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, had to grant access to data from testing of samples at a Moscow laboratory from 2011 to 2015. The second condition is that Russia must pay the IAAF’s costs incurred in the work of the task force and in bringing or defending Russian cases at the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS). Access to the samples would hand the Athletics Integrity Unit, the independent body that manages all doping and non-doping integrity-related matters in athletics, the opportunity to determine whether any suspicious findings should be investigated.
McLaren to use Chevrolet engines Indy 500 bid
Fernando Alonso will have a Chevrolet engine in his McLaren when the double Formula One champion attempts to win next year’s Indianapolis 500 at the second attempt, the British team announced on Tuesday. The 37-year-old Spaniard led 27 laps in 2017 on his debut at The Brickyard in a Honda-powered Andretti Autosport car before retiring with an engine problem with 21 laps to go. The 2018 Indy 500 winner, Australian Will Power, won with Chevrolet-powered Team Penske last May. “Having Chevrolet power behind me means we’re putting ourselves in the best possible position to compete at the front,” said Alonso. The double Monaco Grand Prix winner, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours with Toyota this year, left Formula One at the end of the season last month and is targeting Indianapolis as the final part of the “Triple Crown of Motorsport”.
Paine is ‘sick of ball-tampering talk’
Australia skipper Tim Paine says he is sick of all the ball-tampering talk and it is time to move on and focus on halting powerhouse India from winning their first Test series Down Under. The scandal in March has haunted Australian cricket, with Steve Smith and David Warner banned and a swathe of executives from the governing body axed or falling on their swords in the aftermath. With the world’s No 1 Test nation awaiting them in Adelaide in the first of four Tests from Thursday, Paine said it was time to start looking forward. “There has been so much talk in the last 10 months that everyone is sick of it,” he said ahead of Australia’s first home Test since “sandpapergate”, where Smith, Warner and Cameron Bancroft tried to alter the ball in SA. “There has been so much talk, it’s time for action. There are 11 guys going out and trying their best who will be so keen because of what has gone on.”
River Plate Madrid-bound for Libertadores final
The River Plate team will leave for Spain on Wednesday to play the second leg of the highly controversial Libertadores Cup final, the club announced on Monday. In a statement to the South American football federation CONMEBOL, the Argentinian club said the team would leave for Spain “Wednesday at 1400 local time (1700 GMT) in a charter flight from Ezeiza airport”. River Plate had earlier said it was opposed to moving Sunday’s match against fierce local rivals Boca Juniors from Buenos Aires to the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. Coach Marcelo Gallardo had called it “absurd”, adding that his side had lost home advantage. River should have hosted the match at their own El Monumental stadium on November 24 but it was postponed after River Plate fans attacked the Boca Juniors team bus. Boca then refused to play the match and it was postponed 24 hours, only to then be called off indefinitely the next day.
– AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE