SPORTS DAY: Big, swinging role seen for Percy at Afcon

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SPORTS DAY: Big, swinging role seen for Percy at Afcon

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Journalist


SOCCER
Baxter wants Tau to play a bigger role
Percy Tau is set to play a significant role for Bafana Bafana at the African Nations Cup in June and coach Stuart Baxter wants his star man to “stretch himself even more” in the Egypt tournament. “Big players win big games and you can’t prepare people by wrapping them in cotton wool‚” said Baxter. “The easy way is not a good teacher. Percy has got to where he is by working hard and taking some of the knocks.”
PSL charges Celtic
The Premier Soccer League has charged Bloemfontein Celtic for the acts of hooliganism that led to their league match against Cape Town City being abandoned at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The referee called off the match after a section of the supporters invaded the pitch and threw objects onto the field. Celtic will appear before the PSL Disciplinary Committee on April 25.
Coach breaks down in tears
Free State Stars coach Nikola Kavazovic broke down in tears when describing the effect of the loss of Sinethemba Jantjie at the weekend‚ a fortnight after his death in a car accident. “I must admit a huge mistake when I thought he would not give us his best after he signed for Wits. Had I used him more we would have been better placed [on the log] for sure.” As Kavazovic read from his tribute‚ he broke down before composing himself and resuming.
Larsen confident Chippa can beat the drop
Chippa United’s hopes of staying up in the topflight of the Premier Soccer League suffered a blow at the weekend with a home defeat to title-chasing Bidvest Wits, but coach Clinton Larsen is still confident they will beat the drop down to the National First Division. “We’ve got 12 points to play for and I’ve said it before that if my team fights like this every week we’ll get out of the situation that we are in‚” Larsen said. Relegation rivals Free State Stars and Maritzburg United also lost at the weekend while AmaZulu and Black Leopards picked up potentially invaluable points.
 
No crocodile rock tears this time
British rock icon Elton John famously wept as his beloved Watford lost in the 1984 FA Cup final, but spectators are likely to be robbed of a repeat this year due to another engagement. The 72-year-old, who is honorary life president of the Premier League club, is performing in Copenhagen on May 18. John was apparently reduced to tears again after Watford’s stunning comeback from 2-0 down to beat Wolves 3-2 in the semifinals.
Fifa bans disgraced ex-Brazil chief
Fifa on Monday slapped a lifetime ban on the disgraced former boss of Brazilian football, Jose Maria Marin, after a US court convicted him of massive corruption. The 86-year-old Marin was a key figure swept up in the graft scandal that began with a series of stunning arrests in 2015 and subsequently upended world football.
GOLF
Woods climbs to world No 6
Tiger Woods continued his stunning rise up the world rankings on Monday by officially returning to the top 10 for the first time since 2014 after his dramatic fifth Masters win. Woods’ next target may be a return to the top of the rankings, where he spent a record 683 weeks between 1997 and 2014, including 281 consecutively. Louis Oosthuizen is SA’s top-ranked player, who has dropped two spots to 21, followed by Justin Harding at 44.
MOTOR SPORT
Dakar Rally to be held in Saudi Arabia
The Dakar Rally will be held in Saudi Arabia from 2020, organisers announced Monday, offering contestants an “unknown landscape and uncharted terrain”.
SWIMMING
Where are SA’s US-based swimmers?
Swimming SA is looking into why so few of SA swimmers based in the US are failing to convert to elite level‚ national coach Graham Hill said on Monday. Nine swimmers qualified for the world championships during the national trials in Durban last week. Of the four women qualifiers, all train locally – not one of the US-based females made the cutoff to get to the international showpiece in Gwangju‚ South Korea. Of the five male qualifiers‚ three are in the US.
RUGBY
 
Impossible to pick Folau, says Cheika
The Wallabies would not be able to pick Israel Folau again due to the fullback’s “disrespectful” social media posts, coach Michael Cheika said on Monday. “Getting it out in that disrespectful manner publicly is not what our team is about. When you play in the gold jersey we represent everyone in Australia, everyone. Everyone that is out there supporting us, we don’t pick and choose.” Meanwhile, Folau was given 48 hours to respond to a code of conduct breach notice or be sacked over anti-gay comments.Injury shatters Cup dream for McKenzieUtility back Damian McKenzie was ruled out of the World Cup Monday in a blow to the All Blacks as coach Steve Hansen warned it was likely more players could miss out through injury.
CRICKET
Smith, Warner recalled for Australia
Steve Smith and David Warner completed their remarkable comeback from the ball-tampering scandal that rocked cricket when they were on Monday selected in defending champion Australia’s World Cup squad. But there was no room for Josh Hazlewood or Peter Handscomb at the tournament in England and Wales.
India go for experience
India on Monday named a tried and tested squad for the World Cup led by Virat Kohli with. Dinesh Karthik, 33, was given the second wicketkeeper’s slot over rising 21-year-old star Rishabh Pant. Karthik’s form has been indifferent in recent games, but selectors valued his performance under pressure over the years.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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