Local News - Issue 226

Serero, Erasmus and Letsholonyane Return To The Bafana Squad
South Africa coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba has named his 26-man squad to face Congo Brazzaville in back-to-back 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month. Bafana Bafana will tackle the central Africans in Point Noire (on synthetic grass) and at Polokwane's Peter Mokaba Stadium on 11 and 15 October respectively. Mashaba has notably handed a re-call to Ajax Amsterdam star Thulani Serero, Kaizer Chiefs' Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Tefu Mashamaite, as well as Orlando Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus. Kamohelo Mokotjo, May Mahlangu and Ayanda Patosi are among the high-profile absentees, while little-known Santos youngster Fagrie Lakay is a surprise inclusion. Mamelodi Sundowns full-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele also failed to make the cut. Bafana beat Sudan 3-0 away in their Group A opener on Mashaba's return to the national hotseat. They were then held to a goalless draw by continental champions Nigeria in Cape Town on 10 September. Congo top the log with six points following wins over the Super Eagles and the Falcons of Jediane. Bafana are second with four points, three ahead of Nigeria, while Sudan are yet to open their account.

Bafana squad
Senzo Meyiwa, Darren Keet, Dumisani Msibi.
Anele Ngcongca, Ayabulela Magqwaka, Sibusiso Khumalo, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Thabo Matlaba, Rivaldo Coetzee, Kwanda Mngonyama, Tefu Mashamaite.
Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, Dean Furman, Mandla Masango, Keagan Dolly, Thulani Serero, Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
Bongani Ndulula, Tokelo Rantie, David Zulu, Kermit Erasmus, Fagrie Lakay.

The Premier Soccer League together with sponsors Absa have decided to combine the Absa Premiership coach/player of the month awards for September and October. This is because there will only be two rounds of fixtures in each of the two months. PSL general manager of football, Derek Blanckensee explained: “It only makes sense for us to combine the two months as it will not be fair to select a player or a coach of the month from only two games.” The judging panel consists of SuperSport and SABC commentators, Farouk Khan (as convenor) and former Bafana Bafana captain, Lucas Radebe.

Former Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars midfielder Mthokozisi Yende has started training with Moroka Swallows. The 30-year-old played for Ea Lla Koto last season, but he is now without a club. Yende made seven starts for Stars last season and came off the bench six times.

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Lebohang Mothibantwa is set to ply his trade in Cyprus after passing a medical with Bostanci Bagcil. Mothibantwa, who jetted out of the country last week, hopes to sign a contract before the end of the week. The 30-year-old was previously on the books of Golden Arrows last season.

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula said he will financially reward the South Africa U-17 team following their qualification for next year's CAF African Youth Championship in Niger. Amajimbos, who arrived back in the country on Monday, reached the showpiece after drawing 2-2 with Egypt in Cairo on the weekend to advance 4-3 on aggregate. Mbalula, Safa president Danny Jordaan, and the footballing body's CEO Dennis Mumble, were on hand to welcome the youngsters at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Jordaan has urged the side to stay focused. Amajimbos coach Molefi Ntseki is eager to build on the achievement by earning a ticket to the U-17 World Cup in Chile. The top four teams at the CAF Youth Championship will represent the continent at the Fifa spectacle.

PSL CEO Brand de Villiers has conveyed condolences to the family of Chippa United chairman Chippa Mpenges, following the sudden death of his son. Mpengesi’s son, Zenande, accidentally drowned in a swimming pool on Saturday. De Villiers said: “Words cannot express our shock and sadness, and cannot imagine what the family is going through at a loss of a young child. We pray for their solace and comfort during this difficult period. On behalf of the PSL family, we convey our sincere condolences. May his soul rest in peace.” Chippa beat Orlando Pirates in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, but Mpengesi was not there to witness it as he was heading back home following news of the tragedy.

Absa Premiership pacesetters Kaizer Chiefs have claimed the top honours in the 2014/15 Absa Premiership Q-Innovation Quarter One. This follows an impressive unbeaten spell for Amakhosi. Chiefs have accumulated 21 points from seven League games. The Absa Premiership Q1 consists of eight games. Second-placed Ajax Cape Town have 14 points from seven games – meaning it is mathematically impossible for them to catch Chiefs with one game remaining in Q1. The PSL will hand over a cheque of R1.5-million to Naturena. PSL CEO Brand de Villiers congratulated Amakhosi.

SuperSport United have agreed to sign South Africa Under-17 striker Khanyisa Mayo. Mayo, who scored two goals in Cairo on Saturday as Amajimbos booked their place at the 2015 CAF African Youth Championships at the expense of Egypt, has scored five goals in eight games for the national youth side. SuperSport CEO Stan Matthews has known the 16-year-old since birth as his father – former Kaizer Chiefs striker Patrick Mayo – was his first ever signing for Matsatsantsa. Mayo junior will now sign his first professional contract with the Pretoria club in January. Matthews confirms that Mayo junior's younger brother will also be joining the club.

Former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Fatau Dauda looks set to return to his former club AshantiGold. The Ghanaian international, who played at the World Cup in Brazil, is a free agent after leaving Chippa United just a month into his contract. The Chilli Boys said that the player left because of ‘serious personal problems’ and it seems that could now become the problem of AshantiGold, who he left to join Pirates.

Black Leopards coach Sean Connor has gone back to Northern Ireland to sort out his work permit. Connor joined the National First Division club in July after Kosta Papic left for Chippa United, with the latter since moving on to Polokwane City and also being held up by paperwork issues. Meanwhile, Joel Masutha, who helped Lidoda Duvha get their first win of the season in the 2-0 defeat of Baroka on Saturday, will remain caretaker coach until Connor returns.

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt has announced that midfielder Papy Faty will only return to action next season. The Burundi international has had two knee operations since damaging his ligaments and meniscus in a League game against Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium on 30 April. And while Faty recently indicated he could feature again in January, Hunt thinks otherwise.

Bidvest Wits’ teenage midfielder Liam Jordan has successfully completed a training assessment at English Premier League outfit Manchester United. The 16-year-old, who recently featured for the Students’ U19 side at a tournament in Denmark, was then invited to play for the Brondby U19 side in a youth tournament in Holland before being scouted by the Red Devils. The up-and-coming youngster, who is the son of the late South African international Keryn Jordan, has continued gaining valuable experience abroad by training with fellow English club Sunderland, but is set to return to South Africa soon, owing to school commitments.

Mamelodi Sundowns and their coach Pitso Mosimane were found guilty of making comments which brought the League into disrepute by the PSL Disciplinary Committee. This follows comments made by Mr Mosimane on 27 August 2014 on television during a post-match interview after the match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates. Mr Mosimane was sentenced to a fine of R100 000 (being the maximum permissible fine) of which R50 000 was suspended on condition that Mr Mosimane publicly retracts the comments made on 27 August at a news conference to be arranged by the PSL. In addition, Mr Mosimane was ordered to effect payment of the amount of R60 000 in respect of a suspended sentence which had been imposed on him during May 2014 arising from a similar offence. Mamelodi Sundowns was sentenced to a fine of R60 000 of which R30 000 was suspended on condition that the club, through its president Mr Patrice Motsepe, attends the news conference to be arranged by the PSL and supports the retraction by Mr Mosimane. In addition, the club was ordered to effect payment of the amount of R30 000 in respect of a suspended sentence which had been imposed on it during May 2014 arising from a similar offence. Both parties were in addition ordered to pay the costs of the sitting.

Mamelodi Sundowns board member Peter Johannes Manda has passed on following a long illness according to the club site. Manda, who served as Executive of Legal at African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) has also served as Chief Executive of Sundowns in 2004, and continued to make a valuable contribution to the development of the club to where it currently is. Club owner Patrice Motsepe and the Board and management of Sundowns paid tribute to Manda for his sterling role at both Sundowns and ARM and expressed sincere condolences to the Manda family.

Moroka Swallows defender Boris Savic will be out of action for the next six weeks after undergoing a knee operation. Savic, who joined Swallows at the start of the season, damaged his knee in his club's 2-0 loss to Chippa United at Dobsonville Stadium on 14 September. Dube Birds coach Zeca Marques has confirmed the 26-year-old's lengthy unavailability.

Kaizer Chiefs expect injured pair Katlego Mphela and Itumeleng Khune to be available again in "late October". Striker Mphela and goalkeeper Khune are sidelined with ankle and foot complaints respectively. Mphela sustained his knock after scoring in a MTN8 semi-final defeat of Platinum Stars on 24 August, while Khune last skippered Chiefs six days later in a 2-0 League win over SuperSport United. Meanwhile, centre-back Mulomowandau Mathoho has resumed light training after hurting his right knee in Amakhosi's 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 Final.

The South African Women’s National team, Banyana Banyana, beat Cote d'Ivoire 2–1 in an international friendly match played at Moruleng Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. A first-half goal by Crocius striker in the Gauteng Sasol League, Portia Modise, and an early goal in the second half by Mamelodi Sundowns player Sanah Mollo gave Banyana victory over a physical Cote d'Ivoire. Both teams are in the final stages of preparations for the biggest women’s football tournament in Africa, the African Women’s Championship which will take place in Namibia from 11–25 October. Banyana are drawn in Group B together with Cameroon, Ghana and Algeria, while Cote d'Ivoire has been drawn in Group A with hosts Namibia, Nigeria and Zambia. Banyana are set to play one more friendly before they travel to Namibia, details of the match will be communicated soon.

The individuals who were arrested by the police on the Saturday during the MTN8 Final appeared in the Durban Magistrate Court this week. The PSL has applauded this move and praised the work of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to arrest the suspects facing various charges including illegal sale of tickets and pitch invasion. The four, Lungisane Funeka, Vusi Sizane, Bongani Maphanga and Willie Annes, were detained by police following a crackdown ahead and during the cup showpiece. Maphanga, Sizane and Annes are charged with illegal sale of tickets while Funeka is facing charges relating to trying to invade the pitch during the game.

Football agent Tim Sukazi and Orlando Pirates are still engaged in talks regarding the matter involving Sukazi and the club’s striker Lehlohonolo Majoro. It was previously reported that the civil matter between the two parties could be settled out of court depending on the outcome of the talks between Quality Talent Sports CEO and Pirates. Sukazi is suing Majoro for R1.8-million, which relates to an alleged breach of contract between the two parties and as it stands the matter is now two-fold – a court case and outside process, which is the talks between Sukazi and Pirates. As a matter of background, Sukazi revealed in court papers that Majoro signed a contract with his company on August 12, 2010 for Quality Talent Sports to oversee his career. The agreement stated that Sukazi’s company was to get a 10 percent cut of the gross annual remuneration Majoro was to get from any deals he signed, or 10 percent from transfer fees. The contract was terminated two years later in August 2012. However, Sukazi claims that the two parties then entered into a verbal agreement last January, on the same terms as the written agreement and Sukazi is aggrieved that at the time Majoro sealed the deal with Pirates, he was in the process of negotiating the footballer’s transfer from Kaizer Chiefs to SuperSport United – a R15 890 000 four-year contract. He claims in filed court papers that he’s entitled to R1 589 000 – the 10 percent commission he would have earned in terms of the multi-million-rand SuperSport deal that fell by the wayside. Sukazi is also claiming R225 000 he says he lent Majoro last November, placing his total claim against the star at R1 814 000.

Mark Haskins has confirmed his retirement from professional football following a year-long battle that has brought him no joy in his bid to continue with his career. Haskins’ last appearance in professional football was in the 2013 Nedbank Cup Final when he played 120 minutes for SuperSport United against Kaizer Chiefs. The 33 year-old has also played for BidVest Wits, Jomo Cosmos, Moroka Swallows and the then HP Silver Stars since returning Florida Atlantic University in the USA. One of most disciplined and humble footballers in domestic football Haskins adds that he will now focus his energy on the television work that he has been doing.

SA players abroad
Andile Jali kept up his good run of form as his Belgian side Oostende drew 2-2 with title contenders Club Brugge. Jali is a key figure for Oostende and will likely also be for Bafana Bafana when they take on Congo next month.
Goalkeeper Darren Keet, who is also set for national team duty when South Africa head to Congo next week, kept a clean sheet as his Belgian side Kortrijk won 3-0 at home to Mouscron-Peruwelz to move away from the relegation zone.
Anele Ngcongca’s Genk could not hold onto a lead at home as they were held 1-1 by Sporting Charleroi, with the South African playing in the centre-back position, just as he had for Bafana in Sudan and against Nigeria.
Steven Pienaar missed Everton’s Merseyside Derby draw with Liverpool but is close to regaining full fitness, while neither
Tokelo Rantie nor Kagisho Dikgacoi featured for their Championship sides Bournemouth and Cardiff respectively.
Dean Furman played for Doncaster Rovers in League One as they lost 3-0 at Walsall, while Kgosi Ntlhe lasted just 12 minutes of his comeback from a groin strain as he limped out of Peterborough United’s 1-0 home win over Fleetwood Town.
Darren Holden was a half-time substitute as Hartlepool drew 0-0 with Portsmouth a division below.
Thulani Serero celebrated his return to the Bafana squad by helping Ajax to an emphatic 5-2 victory in the Dutch Eredivisie on Saturday, while Kamohelo Mokotjo, who will not feature against Congo, helped FC Twente win 3-1 at FC Utrecht.
Lebogang Phiri was a second-half substitute for his Danish side Brondby as they were held 2-2 by Esbjerg, while Joel Untersee played for FC Vaduz as they won 1-0 against Sion in Switzerland.
Daylon Claasen was again missing for 1860 Munich as the German Bundesliga II side won just their second league match of the season with a 2-0 success over Greuther Fürth.
Ricardo Nunes played the final 30 minutes for new Polish club Pogon Szczecin as they lost 1-0 at high-flying Betchatow, but there was no place in the match-day 18 for Joshua Silva as bottom side Zawisza Bydgoszcz drew 1-1 with Ruch Chorzów.
Siyanda Xulu was back on the bench for FC Rostov in their 2-1 loss at Terek Grozny, while it was a bad day out for a trio of South African-born players as Keagan and Kyle Jacobs, along with Burton O’Brien, all played for Livingston as they were thumped 5-0 by Hearts in the Scottish second-tier.

Finally, Sergio Marakis was replaced just before half-time as his Portuguese second-tier side Portimonense lost 2-1 in the cup to Real Sporting Club.