Local News - Issue 229

Marques Resigns From Struggling Swallows
Former Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques says he was no longer enjoying his job after deciding to step down from his post. Marques met with the Dube Birds management and officially tendered his resignation letter. "I have left the club," says Marques. "The results were no longer forthcoming and I was no longer enjoying my job. I believe Fani Madida will lead the team for the game against Kaizer Chiefs on Wednesday," he adds. Swallows fans have endured five straight defeats, their last one 2-3 at home to Mpumalanga Black Aces on Saturday, and have been calling for club CEO Leon Prins to also step down. Meanwhile, former Swallows coach Gordon Igesund has defended Prins and says the chairman is doing a very good job in the circumstances.

Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Clive Barker is taking a silent stance following revelations that he has had yet another row with Mbulelo ‘OJ’ Mabizela.
The former Bafana Bafana captain has been frozen out of the team of late and it has come about that Mabizela has more discipline-related issues. Mabizela has not only disrespected his teammates but Barker too after yet another bust-up with the veteran coach. The former Tottenham Hotspur man apparently questions the technical team’s authority. OJ – who has a history of disciplinary issues – is now due to face a club disciplinary hearing. Asked to comment about Mabizela, Barker chose not to say anything, having previously also been protective of the experienced defender.

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rashid Sumaila has joined Ghanaian side Asante Kotoko on a season-long loan.
The Ghana champions confirmed their interest on October 14 through their general manager Opoku Nti, and Kotoko have since named the 21-year-old in their 29-man squad for the 2014/15 season after he arrived at the club last Thursday. Sumaila, who made 23 appearances for the Brazilians last season, was until recently stuck at Chloorkop as he was not registered for this season due to an exhausted foreign quota and has subsequently returned to the club he played for in Ghana before joining Sundowns. Meanwhile, former Maritzburg United midfielder Frank Sarfo Gyamfi is also part of the Kotoko squad for the season.

South Africa’s U-20 side will prepare for the African U-20 Championship next year by playing in a tournament in Russia. Senegal will host the African Championship from March 8 to 22 and as preparation for the tournament in West Africa, Amajita will play in the Commonwealth of Independent States Cup in Russia that’s scheduled for January 15 – 26. The tournament will be played in St Petersburg and this is mostly a competition featuring under-21 sides from the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Kaizer Chiefs’ attacking options will widen for Wednesday’s night game against Moroka Swallows with the expected return of Kingston Nkhatha. The Zimbabwean missed Chiefs’ record-breaking 1-0 win against Ajax Cape Town due to illness, but should be ready to get going again when Chiefs host the Birds at FNB Stadium. In the meantime, Baxter is uncertain about Bernard Parker. With Nkhatha and Parker out, Chiefs were forced to start the match in Cape Town without an established forward.

Bloemfontein Celtic have reported that three supporters were stabbed during the team's 5-1 victory over Polokwane City at Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium on Sunday. Celtic revealed the incident happened during the second half of the Absa Premiership tie, with a motive for the attack yet to be established. Phunya Sele Sele said they are now considering moving their games away from Botshabelo. A statement on the club's official website said: “Bloemfontein Celtic supporters and management should be celebrating the 5-1 win against Polokwane City but the team is disturbed by the unruly behaviour that was displayed in the stands by criminal acts during the match. In an altercation that took place in the second half, three supporters residing in Bloemfontein were stabbed for no apparent reason. William Lenong of Joe Slove was stabbed in the thigh while Ishmael Reeman of Heidedal was knifed in the stomach and on the back. Both supporters have been released from hospital except for Tiisetso Tlali of Cape Stand. The team’s management has responded to the medical needs of the supporters and has visited them in hospital. A case has been opened against the perpetrator who is under the watchful eye of the police. Celtic apologises to fans that witnessed the attack and will take every possible action to ensure the safety of its supporters. Although the motive for the attack has not been established, gang related violence can’t be ruled out. Celtic is evaluating the possibility of moving matches away from Botshabelo which is rife with rival gangs. Bloemfontein Celtic thanks the medical team that attended to the supporters and the police that apprehended the suspect. Community members are encouraged to assist the police with their investigations. Anyone with information and input that can help the police and the team can contact the Bloemfontein Celtic liaison officer, Pule Malebo on 063 060 1619.” Celtic's managing director Rali Ramabodu said: “We are disturbed by this barbaric act which was also seen by youngsters in the stands. We have worked hard to create family environment at our games.

Thulani Serero is likely to face a race against time to be for Bafana Bafana's next African Nations Cup qualifier after sustaining a hamstring strain. The Ajax Amsterdam playmaker was substituted late in his side's 1-1 Dutch Eredivisie draw against Kamahelo Mokotjo's FC Twente on Saturday night. Ajax coach Frank de Boer has confirmed that Serero will miss the UEFA Champions League clash against Barcelona on Tuesday night, although the exact extent of the injury is still to be determined. Hamstring injuries typically have a three-week minimum recovery time, meaning Serero will likely be short of match fitness when South Africa take on Sudan at home on November 15. However, both club and country will be hoping for better news from the results of a scan on the injury.

Banyana Banyana superstar Portia Modise has written herself in the football history books as she became the 14th player ever to score a milestone 100 goals for her country. The South African women’s team thumped Algeria 5-1 in their final group encounter of the African Women’s Championships to secure a semi-final berth in the competition, being hosted in neighbouring Namibia. Modise scored her 99th and coveted 100th goal in the victory against their African rivals. Modise joins an elite group of 13 players to have ever scored 100 goals or more for their country. The 31-year-old is the only African player to have achieved this feat. Modise’s 100 goals in 117 games puts her third in terms of her goals-per-game ratio of players who have netted over 100 goals for their country. Banyana Banyana are through to the African Women Championship semi-finals. The South Africans went into the game needing a win to progress following a defeat against Cameroon and a draw with Ghana, and Vera Pauw’s charges did not disappoint to set up a meeting with Nigeria in the last four.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula is adamant South Africa will not step in to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in place of Morocco. Morocco have expressed reservations over staging the event, starting in January, due to fears sparked by the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. The north west African nation has asked if the Confederation of African Football would consider postponing the competition. CAF responded that they will discuss the matter when their executive members meet in Algiers on November 3. Several countries have been requested by CAF, including South Africa, to be on standby should Morocco withdraw from staging the tournament. Mbalula, however, declared on Twitter: “South Africa is not the Big Brother of Africa & thus we won't be hosting #AFCON year after year..." “Hosting AFCON next year is a NO NO,” he added.

Dutch Eredivisie club PEC Zwolle have confirmed the presence of Bafana Bafana newcomer Fagrie Lakay who has started his trial with the club. The 17-year-old began training with Kamohelo Mokotjo’s former club on Monday morning and Zwolle further confirmed that it is a week-long assessment. The Santos striker, who was promoted to the Cape side's senior team when he was just 15 years old, made headlines recently when he was named in the Bafana squad that played two matches against Congo in 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

National First Division side Royal Eagles are set to part ways with Duncan Lechesa with Jacob Sakala taking over as head coach. Eagles, who played to a 2-all draw against Highlands Park over the weekend, have registered just one win in seven League matches this season and the ambitious Durban club, in 11th place, is now far off the pace of the leaders. Duncan Lechesa is as good as gone and Sakala is going to take over, while Khabo Zondo will remain as the technical director of the club. Expect the team to make an official announcement very soon,” say a source close to the club. Sakala, who has until now remained a part of the technical staff at Mpumalanga Black Aces, was not available for comment and Eagles’ general manager Richard Makhoba also couldn’t be reached.

Kaizer Chiefs secured a 1-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday afternoon to set a new PSL record of 15 successive wins. The home side enjoyed the majority of the ball and created more opportunities than the visitors in the first half, but neither goalkeeper was kept too busy on a hot day in Cape Town. The second half was a more exciting affair after Chiefs took the lead four minutes after the restart through Mashamaite. Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter named a team with no out-and-out strikers. Ajax could not find an equaliser, so Chiefs' eighth straight League win means they have now broken Mamelodi Sundowns' record of 14 consecutive domestic wins achieved in 2007 as they have won 15 matches in a row including the two wins at the end of last season. Amakhosi also moved 10 points clear of the four chasing teams at the top of the Absa Premiership table.

Former Bafana Bafana and Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe has been named as one of the Premier League's 100 greatest ever players by a British newspaper. The Daily Telegraph released its list of the "Premier League's 100 greatest ever players", and placed Radebe at 78th based on his 11-year spell at Elland Road, which started in 1994. Radebe, who played 197 games for Leeds and earned 70 caps for the national team, placed ahead of the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha (93), Michael Ballack (95) and John Barnes (100). This is how the newspaper described Radebe: “If Nelson Mandela names you as a hero, you know you’ve made an impact. Radebe was indeed an icon on his native South Africa, and he was similarly beloved at Leeds, where he was a colossus at the heart of their defence. As captain, 'The Chief' helped Leeds regularly finish in the top four in the early 2000s, while he was also a tireless campaigner against racism.' Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs heads the list, with Thierry Henry, Roy Keane, Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes completing the top five.

Chippa United striker George Akpabio is a happy man after being presented with a new Renault Clio by his club for his superb efforts last season. The Nigerian was named the Chilli Boys' best player in their run to National First Division honours in 2013/14. United boss Siviwe 'Chippa' Mpengesi congratulated Akpabio for his achievement.

The PSL's Dispute Resolution Chamber has postponed the hearing involving Edward Manqele and Mamelodi Sundowns until November 10. Manqele took Sundowns to the DRC in a bid to secure his clearance amongst other complaints. The player's representative, Josiah Mphono, confirms the matter will be revisited next month.

AmaZulu have confirmed the sacking of coach Craig Rosslee after a horror start to the season that has seen them win no league matches yet. The directors have agreed to relieve Craig Rosslee from the position of head coach with immediate effect. The decision was due to a poor run of form over the past couple of months. Current caretaker coach Wilfred Mugeyi will continue in the position with the assistance of the technical video analyst Ronnie Moroka, goalkeeper coach Graham Johnson and Japhet Zwane as the team manager.

Orlando Pirates-target Ngoyi Eddy Emomo has joined DR Congo side Motema Pembe on loan from Sharks XI, but Bucs are still open to signing him in the January transfer window. Emomo spent most of pre-season training with Pirates. However, he saw his move fall through after the Sea Robbers and Sharks XI, who are owned by the younger brother of Congolese president Joseph Kabila, couldn’t agree on a transfer fee for the predatory striker. Emomo has moved on to Motema Pembe – a club that provides the 20-year-old with a bigger platform. He nevertheless remains keen on linking up with Pirates. By joining Motema Pembe, Emomo will now be teammates with Bodrick Ungenda Muselenge – the defender that was with him during his stay with Pirates. Muselenge also saw his move to Pirates falter for similar financial reasons. The DR Congo Super Ligue started 10 days ago.

Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim Mashaba and defender Rivaldo Coetzee have been nominated for honours at the 2014 South African Sport Awards. Mashaba will compete with swimming's Graham Hill and rugby's Neil Powell for the Coach of the Year prize, while Coetzee will vie with track athletes Wayde van Niekerk and Gezelle Magermann for the Newcomer of the Year accolade. Mashaba supervised Amajita's qualification for the African Youth Championships prior to returning to the Bafana hotseat in September. Under his watch, the senior national side have picked up seven points from three games, and are now one win away from booking a ticket to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. Coetzee, who turned 18 last week Thursday, became Bafana's youngest debutant in the team's 2-0 win over Congo in Pointe Noire this past Saturday. The centre-back has impressed for Ajax Cape Town this season, having made his PSL bow last term.

South African defender Ntuthuko Radebe has renewed his contract with Belgian Second Division side KAS Eupen for a further two years. Radebe joined Eupen more than three years ago after he was spotted by scouts in KwaZulu-Natal together with Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Phakamani Mngadi. Both players attended a football academy in Qatar before settling in Belgium. Whilst Mngadi has returned to South Africa, Radebe is still dreaming of more success in Europe before entertaining any thoughts of coming back home. The 20-year-old left-back's agent, Sizwe Ntshangase, confirmed that his client has renewed his contract until 2017.

SA players abroad 

The spoils were shared when Thulani Serero came up against Kamohelo Mokotjo in the Dutch Eredivisie on Saturday. Mokotjo’s FC Twente took a first half lead, but were pegged back in the second period as Serero began to gain control of the midfield for his side before he went off with 10 minutes remaining.

Daylon Claasen came on for the second half of his German Bundesliga 2 side's 4-1 loss to Erzgebirge Aue. There were high hopes for the Bafana Bafana midfielder when he joined the famous 1860 Munich from Poland at the start of the season, but he has found himself mostly sitting in the stands. His appearance on Sunday was a first since the end of August for the 24-year-old.

Anele Ngconcga was fit enough to take his place in the Genk side that defeated Westerlo 3-1 to move into the top six, but there was still no place for struggling Ayanda Patosi in the match-day 18 for Lokeren as they lost 3-1 to Club Brugge.

Andile Jali showed no ill-effects from his national team duty as he played the full 90 minutes for Belgian side KV Oostende in their 0-0 home draw with Mouscron-Peruwelz.

Darren Keet was also straight back into goal for Kortrijk as they won 2-1 at home to Waasland-Beveren to move into the top six after a shaky start to the new season. It was their fourth win on the trot.

Steven Pienaar came off the bench to help Everton to a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, winning the free-kick that led to The Toffees’ third.

Kagisho Dikgacoi was again absent for Cardiff City as they won 2-1 against Nottingham Forest, while Tokelo Rantie was on the bench as Bournemouth won 1-0 at home to Charlton Athletic.
Kgosi Ntlhe missed Peterborough United’s 2-1 win over Barnsley through injury in League One while Dean Furman was rested on the bench by Doncaster Rovers as they lost 3-1 at Fleetwood Town.

Goalkeeper Dani Amos saved a penalty as Hapoel Tel Aviv benefited from a late own goal to secure a 1-1 draw at Bnei Sakhnin, while it was a nightmare weekend for Bafana left-back Ricardo Nunes who was hauled off after 58 minutes of his Polish side Pogon Szczecin’s 5-0 loss at Jagiellonia Biatystok.

Lebogang Phiri started for Danish side Brondby as they thumped Vestsjaelland 5-0, while Joel Untersee was also a starter in the Swiss league for Vaduz as they were held to a 0-0 draw by bottom side Luzern.

Finally, May Mahlangu, who should decide his future this week, played for Goteborg in their 3-2 victory over Hacken in Sweden.