Local News - Issue 198

Mashaba Rumoured To Be Hot Favourite To Replace Igesund
Former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has refused to speak about speculation linking him with a return to the national hotseat. According to fresh media reports, the 62-year-old is tipped to take over from Gordon Igesund at the beginning of August. The junior Bafana coach was previously in charge of 19 Bafana matches, overseeing 12 wins, five draws and two losses. “It will be unethical and unfair for me to comment about this,” says Mashaba. - Full Story via Kickoff

The South African Football Association arbitrator has finally handed down a verdict on Mabuthi Khenyeza, banning him for six matches and giving him a suspended R100 000 fine. The Mpumalanga Black Aces striker was initially banned for 12 months by the PSL for allegedly spitting at a match official while still on the books of Ajax Cape Town. The player then joined Aces, who helped in appealing the sentence and getting it down to just a R25 000 fine. However, the PSL were not happy with the revised verdict and pursued a course of action which has taken the better part of six months. Keen to get this matter behind him, Khenyeza has now accepted his fate. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs are starting to experience the fixture chaos that Orlando Pirates went through due to the CAF Champions League. The Amakhosi have announced that their league game away to Bidvest Wits, originally scheduled for March 29, has been postponed to a later date because it will clash with their CAF tie against DR Congo side AS Vita. The Buccaneers are still battling to make up the backlog of their league fixtures due to their run to the 2013 CAF Champions League final.

Orlando Pirates are finally getting some positive news on the injury front. The Buccaneers have been beset by injuries to key players, especially in defence, but that is now slowly but surely clearing up. Siyabonga Sangweni and Patrick Phungwayo, who have spent months on the sidelines with Achilles tendon injuries, have both rejoined the squad in full training. Rooi Mahamutsa, who has been out with a shoulder injury, is also back in full training, while captain Lucky Lekgwathi is available again after missing the weekend’s defeat to University of Pretoria with an ankle problem.

Safa have sent their condolences to Gordon Igesund after the Bafana Bafana coach's father passed away on Monday at the age of 81. Safa released a statement, which said: The South African Football Association would like to send out its heartfelt condolences to Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund on the passing on of his father, Gordon Igesund Snr. Igesund Snr passed away on Monday, 10 March 2014. He was 81. He is survived by his wife, four children, several grandchildren and great grandchildren. "This is a massive loss. He was the rock of my life," said Bafana boss Igesund.

DR Congo striker Eddy Emomo has started training with AmaZulu as he seeks to complete a move to the PSL after turning down offers to join Tunisian club Monastir. Emomo, who has also attracted interest from Israel, jetted into the country last Friday evening and had his first session with Usuthu on Saturday, but will get a proper run in a friendly match against the club’s feeder team Durban Warriors. - Full Story via Kickoff

Erwin Isaacs says he is still deciding whether he will stay with Bidvest Wits beyond the expiry of his contract at the end of the season. The 27-year-old joined Wits at the start of the 2012/13 season when his former side Santos were relegated to the National First Division. However, he has made only 18 appearances in all competitions since the move, scoring two goals in the process. “I told my agent that we will decide at end of the season if I should stay or not. I am still a Wits player now, and they [club] must decide and we must decide what the best agreement is going forward.” - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns have received some positive news on the injury front. Captain Alje Schut is back in training after missing the last three games with a quad strain, while Punch Masenamela, Tiyani Mabunda and Sibusiso Kumalo have also returned to full training. However, the club is still awaiting feedback on the scans that Tebogo Langerman and Elias Pelembe went for. They both picked up injuries in the 2-0 win against AmaZulu on Sunday. Khama Billiat (foot) and Cuthbert Malajila (hamstring) are also nearing a return to full fitness.

The PSL is expected to hand Free State Stars a heavy fine for the abandonment of their home league match against Orlando Pirates last month. The game was scheduled to take place on 12 February at Charles Mopeli Stadium, but had to be postponed due to floodlight failure. On 3 March the league released a statement stating that Ea Lla Koto “has been charged with contravening Rules and 5.7 for failing to ensure that the floodlights at their home fixture were working ahead of their Absa Premiership fixture against Orlando Pirates on 12 February 2014. This resulted in the fixture being called off by the referee”. - Full Story via Kickoff

Nyasha Mushekwi’s future with KV Oostende will hinge on the outcome of talks between the Belgian club and Mamelodi Sundowns. While Mushekwi is due to complete his loan spell with Oostende at the end of June, a knee injury has put him out of action for the rest of the season. Mushekwi’s contract with Sundowns also runs out at the end of June and the Chloorkop-based side are now in talks with Oostende regarding an extension to his loan – or even a permanent move to the Pro League team. - Full Story via Kickoff

The National First Division has only 27 foreigners registered for the season - in contrast to the Premier Soccer League's 102. The number of foreign players in the country has become topical again, with Brazil technical director Carles Alberto Parreira, a former Bafana Bafana boss, recently saying there are too many in the South African topflight. The second tier, however, is comparatively far less inclined to recruit outside of the borders for talent. - Full Story via Kickoff

The Bafana Bafana and Nigerian Legends will face off in a friendly on March 30 in Kano. Fans will be able to see Super Eagles heroes like Nwankwo Kanu, Jay-Jay Okocha and Daniel Amokachi strut their stuff against South African icons like Lucas Radebe, Neil Tovey and Doctor Khumalo. The South African team will be named later this week.

After an intense three days of football schedule, South African Waylan Rooi was selected to join The Nike Academy in the UK. The other four winners include Bruno Covas from Brazil, Joel Drommel from Holland, Dylan Burns from New Zealand and Aiden Austin from England. These boys will all be given a three-month contract, during which they will be undergoing intense training, and nutritional, plans to get their bodies into the physical state required to excel at The Academy. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bafana Bafana midfielder Andile Jali is fine after being involved in a car accident near the town of Kokstad in KwaZulu-Natal. Details of the incident are sketchy at this stage, but it is believed Jali's vehicle collided with another on his way home to Matatiele. "I am okay, I was on my way home," Jali said. Incidentally, Jali's former teammate Rooi Mahamutsa of Orlando Pirates survived a serious car crash earlier this week.

Bafana Bafana will finally have a golden star showcased on the jersey for winning the 1996 African Nations Cup. Since Bafana's sole continental triumph on home soil 18 years ago, questions have been asked as to why there is no star on the national jersey, with countries like Ghana commemorating their success in the competition in such a fashion. However, SAFA communications director Dominic Chimhavi reveals there are plans to address this. “Yes, we will have the star when we qualify for the 2015 AFCON in Morocco,” confirms Chimhavi. “This matter has been discussed and decided.” Orlando Pirates are the only top-flight club in South Africa that has a star on their jersey for winning the 1995 CAF Champions Cup [now Champions League].

SAFA president Danny Jordaan has warned that corrupt activities will not be tolerated, especially in the ABC Motsepe League. The Second Division has for years been plagued with alleged corruption involving referees and team officials. In February 2013, Phil Setshedi was sentenced to eight years in jail, with five years of the sentence suspended, for match-fixing stemming from one of the games during the 2011 Vodacom Play Offs in Cape Town. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bafana Bafana defender Bongani Khumalo had a successful operation on his knee injury, and is expected to be out for six months or more. The 27-year-old picked up the injury during the international friendly defeat against Brazil played at Soccer City on Wednesday and was replaced by Siyanda Xulu. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ugandan goalkeeper Posnett Omony is grateful to the PSL for helping to end his long-dragging dispute with former employers Black Leopards. Omony took Leopards to the PSL Dispute Resolution Chamber in 2012 while still with the Limpopo club citing unpaid salaries and accommodation allowances, but the case dragged for over a year before he eventually won. “The case is now settled and I am heading into my second last monthly payments from the PSL. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ajax Cape Town have suffered a big blow with the news that striker Nathan Paulse will be out for the rest of the season after tearing his hamstring. The Urban Warriors will now go into their league match against Free State Stars on the weekend with only two strikers in Carl Lark, who has been deployed in midfield, and Tashreeq Morris. "Paulse is out for probably until the end of the season. It's a big loss because he tore his hamstring right out," coach Roger de Sa reveals. On-loan striker Eleazar Rodgers is also expected to be out with an ankle injury, which will keep him out for 10 days. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bafana Bafana raised eyebrows when they took the field with 46664 branding on their jerseys in the match against Brazil, but SAFA insists that they did not violate any of FIFA’s rules. It is well known that FIFA is against any form of branding on players’ jerseys for international matches. During the tour of Cameroon in 1992, Bafana naively had ‘Castle’ on their jerseys and were reprimanded by world football’s governing body  And when Egypt took on Bafana in December 1998, they played with a branded shirt and also faced an inquest. - Full Story via Kickoff

Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scorari insists Bafana Bafana were not as bad as the 5-0 scoreline suggests. The Selecao hammered South Africa at Soccer City last Wednesday night courtesy of a Neymar hat-trick, but Scolari insists the only difference between the two sides was the match-winners in their line-up. “The scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story of the game,” he said after the match. - Full Story via Kickoff

The Premier Soccer League have announced the dates and venues for the Last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.

Friday, 21 March 2014
Santos  vs Orlando Pirates 18h00
Athlone Stadium 
Saturday, 22 March
Platinum Stars vs Maritzburg United 15h00
Moruleng Stadium
AmaZulu FC vs Bidvest Wits 15h00
Princess Magogo Stadium
Golden Arrows vs Mamelodi Sundowns 20h15
King Zwelithini Stadium 
Sunday, 23 March
Bloemfontein Celtic vs Witbank Spurs 15h00
Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium
African Warriors vs Milano United 15h00
Charles Mopeli Stadium 
Wednesday, 26 March
Kaizer Chiefs vs FC Buffalo 19h30
FNB Stadium
Moroka Swallows vs SuperSport United 19h30
Dobsonville Stadium

Bafana Bafana midfielder May Mahlangu has completed his move to Swedish club IFK Goteborg for the 2014 Allsvenskan season. Mahlangu passed a medical last Monday night and his signing was announced by the club on Tuesday. The 24-year-old has not played since July last year when he ruptured an Achilles tendon. The 2012 Swedish Player of the Year's contract with Helsingborgs expired at the end of December, leaving him a free agent. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA players abroad round-up: Only a handful of Bafana players who were on duty for the 5-0 mauling by Brazil started at the weekend, but such is Serero’s importance for Ajax he was drafted straight back into the team. His side, however, were held to a surprise 1-1 draw with Cambuur in the Dutch league on Sunday. Despite the result, Ajax still hold a six-point lead at the top of the table with seven rounds of the championship to play.
Mark Mayambela, meanwhile, ran out for Djurgardens as they beat Assyriska 2-0 in the domestic cup competition.
Kamohelo Mokotjo’s return from a knee injury was delayed another week as his Dutch side PEC Zwolle lost 3-0 at Heerenveen.
Lebogang Phiri was a second half substitute for Danish side Brondby as they won 4-1 at home to Nordsjaelland to move up to third in the league.
Andile Jali did not feature for KV Oostende in their 0-0 draw with Darren Keet’s Kortrijk after being involved in a car accident. Keet kept a second clean sheet in a row in the game in a season where those have been rare for him.
Anele Ngcongca played for Genk in their 3-1 win over bottom side Mons that keeps the side in the final championship playoff place in sixth spot with one round of matches to go.
Ayanda Patosi came on after 78 minutes of Lokeren’s 0-0 draw with Waasland-Beveren that sealed their place in the top six playoffs.
Kagisho Dikgacoi, who played 90 minutes for Crystal Palace in the English Premiership last weekend and was then withdrawn from the national team for the game against Brazil with a back injury, started on Saturday in the 1-0 loss to Southampton having made a swift recovery from his ailment.
Steven Pienaar started for Everton in their 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final loss at Arsenal, his cup dream coming to an end for another season.
Dean Furman was an unused substitute for Doncaster Rovers as they claimed a crucial 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town, a game Bongani Khumalo missed after rupturing a tendon in his knee that will see him out for the remainder of the season.
Tokelo Rantie was also an unused substitute for Bournemouth as they won 1-0 at Blackpool, a result that probably ends their relegation worries for this season. South African-born Andrew Surman started for The Cherries.
Kgosi Ntlhe was again missing for Peterborough United as they all but sealed their place in the League One promotion playoffs with 4-2 home win over Crewe Alexandra.
May Mahlangu is still around a month away from fitness as he battled back from nine months out with an Achilles tendon injury, so did not play in new club IFK Gothenburg’s 10-0 route of Hudiksvall in the Swedish Cup. His new teammate Robin Soder scored five goals in the game.
Lukas Schenkel made his first start for 2014 as Swiss outfit FC Thun won 4-1 at Aarau. They remain seventh.