Local News - Issue 199

Aces’ Khenyeza Handed Six Match Ban
Mabhuti Khenyeza says the six-match ban that he has been handed will not destroy him and maintains he will return from his ‘sabbatical’ still carrying the same arrogance and approach on the field. The Mpumalanga Black Aces striker has been handed a six-match ban and suspended R100 000 fine by the SAFA arbitrator for allegedly spitting at a match official (Zakhele Siwela) on April 2 last year while still on the books of Ajax Cape Town. The league had initially banned him for 12 months, but when he appealed that ruling was overturned by the SAFA Appeals Board to just a R50 000 fine, half of which was suspended for a year. - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs are continuing to engage 1899 Hoffenheim regarding Knowledge Musona’s future. The Zimbabwean forward is at Naturena on a season-long loan from the Bundesliga side, but there is still a question mark over his future with the reigning PSL champions. Amakhosi’s football manager Bobby Motaung says that Chiefs will have the answer by the end of next month. The 23-year-old has scored 13 goals from 22 starts in all competitions for the Phefeni Glamour Boys so far this season. - Full Story via Kickoff

It is looking increasingly unlikely that the SABC will televise the CAF Champions League second round match between AS Vita and Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday. As per competition rules, AS Vita, as the home side, own the broadcasting rights for the first leg tie taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And as it stands, the SABC has no agreement in place with their opponents to show the game to local fans. “I’m not aware of any agreement … Remember, at this stage, the host club can sell the rights to anybody,” SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago confirms. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker Khama Billiat is expected to be back in action this coming weekend. The Zimbabwean last played in the Nedbank Cup first round against Ajax Cape Town on February 21, and missed the next match against Orlando Pirates through suspension. After that the 23-year-old fractured his foot and has been recovering. According to Sundowns’ communications co-ordinator Thulani Thuswa, Billiat has yet to train with the team. “We expect him back this weekend [in the Nedbank Cup against Golden Arrows],” says Thuswa. “But he has yet to train with the team, so let’s wait and see.” - Full Story via Kickoff

SAFA is expected to announce all the junior national team coaches in the next two weeks, and Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba will remain in charge of the Under-23s. Since Danny Jordaan took over as the president, SAFA have embarked on a technical analysis from Bafana Bafana down to all the youth teams. And while Mashaba was linked with the Bafana job, which is currently occupied by the underfire Gordon Igesund, it looks as though ‘Shakes’ will remain as Under-23 coach. The information regarding other junior national team coaches will only be made public in the next two weeks. - Full Story via Kickoff

The Bafana Bafana Legends are ready to settle the score against their Nigerian counterparts in a match to be played on March 30 in Kano. The Super Eagles won the 1994 African Nations Cup, but pulled out of the 1996 edition hosted by South Africa following a political spat between the government of former presidents General Sani Abacha and Nelson Mandela. Bafana went on to win the tournament and the Super Eagles were subsequently suspended for the 1998 tournament played in Burkina Faso.

Bafana Bafana Legends squad
Goalkeepers: Andre Arendse, Brian Baloyi
Defenders: David Nyathi, Neil Tovey, Edward Motale, Aaron Mokoena, Bradley Carnell, Rudolph Seale, Cyril Nzama
Midfielders: Linda Buthelezi, John Moeti, John ‘Shoes’ Moshoeu, Doctor Khumalo, Zane Moosa, Augustine Makalakane, Eric Tinkler, Quinton Fortune, Macbeth Sibaya, Naughty Mokoena, Maimane Phiri 
Forwards: Phil Masinga, Shaun Bartlett, Mark Williams, Daniel Mudau, Benni McCarthy, Fani Madida, Jerry Sikhosana

AmaZulu have confirmed that the club will sign former Golden Arrows striker Lucky Nguzana on a rolling contract following his release by Abafaba Bes'thende. The Mamelodi Sundowns youth product and ex-Amajita player has been training with Usuthu for several weeks in the hope of earning a deal after Arrows terminated his contract by mutual consent. "We will sign Lucky, yes," says AmaZulu coach Craig Rosslee. - Full Story via Kickoff

SuperSport United coach Cavin Johnson has dismissed claims that midfielder Jabu Mahlangu has penned a two-year contract with the club. Mahlangu, a former Kaizer Chiefs star, has been training with Matsatsantsa for the past few months with a view to reviving his career. However, Johnson has dismissed weekend reports that the player has signed a deal with the Tshwane side. "I saw the story in the Sunday newspapers," Johnson says. "This is not true; this is what I can tell you." - Full Story via Kickoff

Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune faces the prospect of missing both CAF Champions League fixtures against AS Vita Club as he recovers from an ankle injury. Amakhosi's number one sprained his ankle in the warm-up before their 4-0 first-leg win over Liga Muculmana in the previous round, and Reyaad Pieterse has been deputising in goal. Khune tweeted: "I'm healing good people, 2 more weeks and I should be back to full fitness.plz keep praying for me" - Full Story via Kickoff

SAFA has approved a new venture that will showcase some of the world's best young footballers at a tournament to be staged in Durban. The KwaZulu-Natal Government, Ethekwini Municipality and Hoy Park Management Ltd in partnership with SAFA announced the new initiative at a media briefing held at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The inaugural tournament will be held in Durban from 31 July to 9 August 2014, and staged at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, Claremont, Princess Magogo Stadium, Kwamashu, King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi and Moses Mabhida. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former Golden Arrows boss Mark Harrison has taken up an assistant coaching role with Free State Stars. Harrison and Themba Sithole, who has been demoted from the hotseat, will both serve under Kinnah Phiri in Stars' fight to beat the dreaded relegation axe. Ea Lla Koto are currently 15th on the log with 17 points from 20 league matches, while Arrows are bottom with 13 points from as many matches. The 53-year-old Harrison, who was sacked by Abafana Bes'thende last month, has already started his new job. - Full Story via Kickoff

Barely a week after taking over at Orlando Pirates, Vladimir Vermozovic and his club are already facing a R50 000 fine. The Serbian-born coach failed to show up at a scheduled post-match press conference after Pirates' 1-0 win over Moroka Swallows on Wednesday, and thus contravened the Premier Soccer League’s media manual. On 24 November 2012, then-Bidvest Wits coach Antonio Lopez Habas failed to attend a mandatory media briefing following the Students' game against Pirates. - Full Story via Kickoff

Ajax Cape Town coach Roger de Sa believes Bidvest Wits midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi could make the grade for a European club if such an opportunity arises during the next transfer window. Vilakazi – one of the standout players this season – has reportedly attracted the interest of Brondby in Denmark and Sunderland in England, with talk that the 24-year-old Wits captain could soon go for trials with either of the two sides.  - Full Story via Kickoff

Ajax Cape Town midfielder Bantu Mzwakali says that things between him and assistant coach Ian Taylor have been sorted out. The 19-year-old midfielder snubbed Taylor when he was still caretaker coach when substituted barely 30 minutes after replacing Carl Lark in a game against Orlando Pirates last month. "We spoke and plus he has been my coach since under-19. I went to him and asked him why he took me off and he said I wasn't defending enough," says Mzwakali. - Full Story via Kickoff

Netherlands-born Vera Pauw has been appointed the new Banyana Banyana coach, taking over from Joseph Mkhonza. Mkhonza, who has previously taken the South African national women's team to the Olympics, has now been appointed as a national selector. Pauw’s immediate task is to prepare Banyana Banyana for the CAF African Women Championships scheduled for October in the Namibian capital of Windhoek. Three teams from the continent will qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. - Full Story via Kickoff

Duncan Lechesa has called it a day at FC Cape Town, claiming he was homesick, and joined NFD rivals Sivutsa Stars. “I left FC Cape Town because I was homesick and wanted to be with my family. I feel sorry for the players, but it was time for me. I’m not writing anything off, but if something comes up close to home I will take it from now until the end of the season,” he explained. It would appear however that ‘something has already come up, with a Sivutsa Stars official confirming that Lechesa has joined the Nelspruit-based team, who are scheduled to face the African Beasts in the Mother City in two weeks time. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bafana Bafana remain unchanged in the latest FIFA World Rankings, despite their 5-0 drubbing by Brazil earlier in the month. The highest placed African team is the Ivory Coast, who are 24th in the world, followed by Algeria and Egypt, who climbed a massive 12 places thanks to a 2-0 win away to Bosnia and Herzegovina. - Full Story via Kickoff

SA players abroad round-up: 
Ayanda Patosi scored just his second goal of the campaign as he helped his Belgian side defeat Lierse 2-1 to finish the regular season in fifth place. That books them a spot in the Championship play-offs along with Anele Ngcongca’s Genk, who end sixth despite a 2-2 draw at Kortrijk. Ngcongca played the full 90 minutes in that match, as did Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Darren Keet on the other side. Kortrijk end in eighth though and now will vie for the two remaining spots in the UEFA Europa League for next season.
Andile Jali was not in the Oostende squad that lost 4-0 at Anderlecht after his extended stay in South Africa last week.
Mayambela came on for Djurgardens after 66 minutes as they beat Halmstad 4-1 in the Swedish Cup, but drop out of the competition after finishing second in their round-robin pool.
May Mahlangu’s IFK Gothenburg do advance, though he was not in action for them this weekend while he continues to recover from an Achilles injury.
Mokotjo played his first game in six weeks for Dutch topflight side PEC Zwolle after recovering from injury. They defeated Go Ahead Eagles 2-0 to stay in eighth.  
And Thulani Serero was in the Ajax Amsterdam starting line-up that drew 0-0 at NAC Breda, but remain seven points clear in the title race.
Kagisho Dikgacoi picked up a booking as his battling English Premier League club Crystal Palace continued to keep themselves out of relegation trouble by holding Sunderland to a goalless draw on Saturday. Dikgacoi, who missed the Bafana game against Brazil but kept on playing for his club side, has struggled this season with a series of complaints but is now seemingly over his latest – a calf strain. Newly promoted Palace had a horror start to the season but are now three points above the drop zone and hopeful of staying up in the topflight.
Dean Furman’s Doncaster Rovers are also living precariously just two places above the drop zone in the English Championship but got a potentially precious away point in their goalless draw at Nottingham Forest. The Bafana midfielder sat on the bench, however, on Saturday.
Bournemouth’s record signing Tokelo Rantie, whose lack of goals continue to bemuse fans on their club’s internet forums, got just two minutes of action as a late substitute in a 0-0 home draw with Middlesbrough.
Daylon Claasen was taken off after 58 minutes of Lech Poznan’s 2-1 win over Podbeskidzie, but saw his side score six minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game to grab the win and go second in the Polish league standings.
Ricardo Nunes was again in action for Bulgarian side Levski Sofia but they lost 1-0 to CSKA Moscow in their first match in the Championship playoffs in that country.
And Keegan Ritchie played for Czech outfit Slavia Prague as they eased their relegation worries with a 2-1 home win over Znojmo.