SPORTS DAY: SA adds piquant flavour to French Cup Final
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
SA players in French Cup final
For the first time ever, two SA players will compete against in the French Cup final on March 30. Bafana Bafana striker Lebo Mothiba scored a brace on Wednesday night to fire Strasbourg through the semifinals and set up a showdown against Lebogang Phiri’s Guingamp.
Teen star won’t walk again
Kaizer Chiefs on Thursday announced that teen midfielder Wiseman Meyiwa won’t walk again after last year’s car accident. Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung said SA junior international Meyiwa will not recover from spinal injuries sustained in a car accident in November to be able to play football again. Meyiwa is still wheelchair-bound‚ but undergoing therapy.
SA enter Chan 2020
It is a competition that has been derided by the Confederation of African Football’s top brass‚ is played outside the international calendar‚ cheapens the concept of a national team and carries no prestige. Yet the African Nations Championship is going ahead – and SA have again entered the preliminaries for the 2020 tournament in Ethiopia.
Chiefs get new keeper
Kaizer Chiefs moved to end their goalkeeping woes after buying Daniel Akpeyi from Chippa United. Chippa chief operations officer Lukhayo Mzinzi said selling their No 1 shot-stopper to the Soweto giants was a good business move. “Chiefs made a very good offer to the club‚” Mzinzi said on Thursday. “We considered that Daniel is in his last six months of his contract. As much as he is one of our most consistent and valuable members‚ we could not let him go for free. “We think we have made a good business move by selling him before his contract ends.”
Gibson still worried about allrounder
Ottis Gibson is stressed. The World Cup is four months away and he still doesn’t know who is SA’s first-choice batting allrounder. Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder bowled well enough, but none of them batted. “Have we answered any questions? Maybe not‚ but at least we got to see them bowl together. We know they can bat. We just need to know which one of them is good enough to score at [No 7] and score the sort of runs we want.”
Kiwis thrash India
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma warned against complacency ahead of India’s World Cup fight on Thursday after a resurgent New Zealand thrashed his side by eight wickets. The tourists were skittled for 92, their lowest total in nine years. “We never expected something like this but sometimes these games can happen,” he said. “Just because we’ve won the series doesn’t mean we can relax. We’ve got this big prize ahead of us and we’ve got to keep ticking the boxes.”
Mostert’s replacement wants confidence
The man tasked with filling the boots and rising as high as Franco Mostert at the Lions says his confidence needs rebuilding. In Stephan Lewies the Lions have a one-time Springbok whose ability to rise to the occasion has diminished of late. “Confidence‚” said Lewies succinctly when asked what part of his game required the most urgent intervention. “I think every player wants to be confident. The last two years I’ve lacked a bit of confidence. Already I have some confidence back under coach Swys [de Bruin].”
Wales bid to extend streak
Wales will bid to equal their longest winning sequence since 1999 of 10 matches when they take on France in Friday’s opening game of the Six Nations, Warren Gatland’s last campaign as Welsh coach. With a favourable fixture list that sees them host England and defending Grand Slam champions Ireland, an experienced Wales side is expected to mount a serious challenge for a third title under Gatland, having won the Grand Slam in 2008 – his first year in charge – and 2012. The all-time Wales winning run is 11 Tests, set between 1907 and 1910.
‘No one thinks we can win,’ says Jones
Eddie Jones insisted England’s belief in their ability to beat champions Ireland was intact even though “no one thinks we can win” the Six Nations clash in Dublin.
Rams coach eyes Super Bowl history
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay could make NFL history on Sunday by becoming the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl if his team manages to outfox the New England Patriots. The fresh-faced 33-year-old has emerged as the hottest young coach in the league over the past two years, transforming the Rams from one of the worst teams in the NFL to one of the most dynamic.
Muezzin muscled out for ‘inappropriate dress’
Ibrahim Masri has been calling Muslims to prayer for nearly 15 years in an Israeli city but his voice is now being silenced because he took part in a bodybuilding contest. Israel’s interior ministry, which oversees the religious organisations of Christians, Muslims and other non-Jewish minorities in Israel, is stripping him of his role as chief muezzin of El-Jazzar mosque in the northern city of Acre after ruling that his participation in a 2017 competition was “incompatible” with his religious role. A ministry spokesman said he had been fired over his inappropriate dress. Bodybuilders typically wear brief trunks during competitions.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE