SPORTS DAY: Bafana nipping straws for a sweet Afcon draw

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SPORTS DAY: Bafana nipping straws for a sweet Afcon draw

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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SOCCER
Bafana Bafana get underdog draw for Afcon
The seedings for Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations draw were approved by the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee meeting in Cairo on Thursday‚ with Bafana Bafana drawn in Pot 3. This means SA will be drawn in a group of four with two strong‚ higher-ranked teams. A dream draw for Bafana would be something like Morocco‚ Guinea and Tanzania. A nightmare would go along the lines of Egypt‚ Ghana and Zimbabwe. The draw will start at 8pm on Friday.
It’s not over yet, warns Arendse
Mamelodi Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse has urged his teammates to remain vigilant against Al Ahly in the second leg of their crunch Caf Champions League‚ quarterfinal clash at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Saturday. “The job is only half done‚ we have to finish it off in Egypt‚” said Arendse who scored the second goal in their 5-0 win at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Pirates want to beat Sundowns on the pitch
The thought that title rivals Sundowns could lose a point for fielding an ineligible player has not even crossed the minds of Orlando Pirates’ players‚ Buccaneers coach Milutin Sredojevic has said. “Our focus is totally on a game of football. But I can openly tell you that as Pirates people‚ as a people who love this badge and jersey‚ all of us we look towards that direction [of winning the league]. “We shall sell our skin very expensively.”
Leopards coach fumes
Livid Black Leopards coach Dylan Kerr said he was left “heartbroken” after his players smiled and exchanged high fives with their Orlando Pirates counterparts despite a defeat that left them mired in the Absa Premiership relegation zone. “What angers me is that after the game I’m going around looking at the players to see their reactions and it is all laughter and jokes‚” said a clearly disappointed Kerr.
RUGBY
Swys gives Lions a grizzled look
There still is no Kwagga Smith, but the Lions will have a more grizzled look when they take on the Brumbies in a Super Rugby match in Canberra on Saturday. In his continued absence coach Swys de Bruin has recalled regular lock Stephan Lewies to the side of the scrum where he will don the No 7‚ while Cyle Brink‚ who made his long-awaited return from injury last week‚ and Hacjivah Dayimani complete the backrow.
Du Preez happy to have Jean-Luc back
Sharks coach Robert du Preez has a lot to smile about‚ especially with Jean-Luc du Preez making a welcome return from a groin injury. “We played well against the Bulls but our discipline let us down. It’s something we’ve worked hard on and I think we’ve fixed that against the Lions‚” Du Preez said. “I said after that game that it’s only a matter of time before this team really hit its straps and they did on Friday.”
Blitzboks try some self-coaching
Blitzboks coach Neil Powell is always looking for an edge and this week he decided to let the players coach aspects of play to keep them on their toes. “We had to own up‚” veteran Justin Geduld said, referring to their sub-par Hong Kong performance. “We had many opportunities and we didn’t exploit all of them. We were out there on the field and were the ones who did not execute.”
 
Folau to be sacked
Rugby Australia said on Thursday it would terminate the contract of Israel Folau, the country’s best-known and best-paid player, if he cannot offer a good reason for a social media post that said gay people would go to “hell” if they did not “repent”. A statement from RA Chief Executive Raelene Castle and her Waratahs equivalent Andrew Hore said they had made repeated attempts to contact Folau since he posted the comments on Wednesday.CRICKETIrish barred from CSA meetingRelations between administrators and players crashed to a new low on Thursday when Tony Irish was barred from attending a Cricket SA (CSA) meeting. As chief executive of the SA Cricketers’ Association (SACA)‚ Irish is a regular figure at the chief executives’ meeting – which is held two or three times a year and involves the affiliate chief executives‚ CSA’s executive and SACA. Irish said SACA would make a statement “at the appropriate time”.Nabi backs spinners to shine at World Cup Mohammad Nabi said Afghanistan’s spinners would be a handful at the cricket World Cup after their experiences playing in England and in the cauldron of the Indian Premier League. The 34-year-old batting all-rounder will form a potent spin attack with Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman at the World Cup, with all three currently contesting the high-pressure IPL.MOTOR SPORTHamilton focused only on winning 1,000th raceLewis Hamilton sounded a warning ahead of the 1,000th grand prix on Sunday, saying he was focused only on victory, adding: “I’m not one for special days like this.”  “It’s absolutely no different to any other race weekend for me. I’m here to do one job, and one job only, and that’s win. It does not matter if it’s the 1,000th, 2,000th or 10,000th race, it’s an irrelevant figure for me.”
BOXINGFuzile on course for world title shotThe International Boxing Federation has ordered junior-lightweight Azinga Fuzile  to fight Kenichi Ogawa in a title eliminator. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for the world title held by American Tevin Farmer.ATHLETICSCoe cleared by IAAF ethics boardThe world athletics governing body (IAAF) has closed an ethics investigation into its president Sebastian Coe after finding there was no basis on which “any disciplinary case could be established” that he had “intentionally misled” a British Parliamentary Committee in 2015. Coe had been questioned about what he knew about doping in Russian athletics.– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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