Local News - Issue 255

South Africa's greatest ever footballers, John 'Shoes' Moshoeu, passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with stomach cancer. Shoes, 49, was one of the stars of Bafana Bafana’s victorious 1996 Africa Cup of Nations team and held a special place in the hearts of South African football fans. We deeply mourn the passing of a legend, whose greatness was amplified by his modesty and kindness. Moshoeu began his career in Diepkloof with local amateur side Blue Whales before joining Kaizer Chiefs’ reserve side. After failing to break in to the first team, he joined Giant Blackpool where he teamed up with the likes of Fani Madida and Jury Bantwana. In 1991 he helped Blackpool reach the infamous JPS Cup Final, where he ended up on the losing side against Dynamos. Moshoeu returned to Amakhosi for his second spell in 1993 before leaving for Turkey, where he had stints with Genclerbirligi and Fenerbahce. His return to South Africa saw him re-uniting with Amakhosi for his third and final spell and he helped the team win back-to-back League titles under Ted Dumitru. Moshoeu's form also saw him selected for the 2004 African Nations Cup at the age of 38. Shoes was a true role model, and his passing is a great loss to football. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Mamelodi Sundowns pair Cuthbert Malajila and Pitso Mosimane have been named the PSL's player and manager of the month respectively for February/March. The Brazilians won five out of six games, losing to Bidvest Wits, in the relevant period, with striker Malajila netting five times. "We humbled to be called here for this event. To acknowledge the work that Mamelodi Sundowns has done," Mosimane said. The recognition may help console the duo after Downs suffered a crushing 5-0 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic last night.

Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie netted twice on his comeback from injury as he helped Bournemouth's reserve side to a 5-2 victory over Leyton Orient last Thursday. Rantie played the full game, having not featured for the English Championship leaders since returning from national team duty at the end of last month. His first goal was a well-taken strike with the outside of his boot as he drilled the ball home on the angle in the first half. He got his second after the break when he stabbed home a flick-on from close-range to complete a satisfactory showing that at the very least proved his fitness to last 90 minutes. He will now be desperate to aid The Cherries in their promotion push and help the side book a place in the top-flight for the first time in their 116-year history. Should Bournemouth not make the top two, they have at least been assured of featuring in the promotion play-offs.

Former Chippa United defender Khanyiso Matomane has finally been paid his six months’ salary settlement – almost two years since the Chilli Boys dumped him without compensation. ‘Kaizer’ was with Chippa through their first PSL season (2012/13) but was then discarded after the team’s relegation, with then coach Mark Harrison insisting that he was not in his plans. Chippa offered to pay him six months’ salary as settlement for the two years that were still remaining on his contract when it was terminated. However, the club then chose not to pay that settlement, thus forcing Matomane to take his case with the PSL DRC with help from the South African Football Players’ Union and his representative Russell Louise. With Chippa not being cooperative in the case and failing to pay Matomane 14 days after the expiry of the appeal date (which was last month), the PSL has since deducted the 25 year-old’s six months from the club’s monthly grant from the League. “The money has been paid into my account. I got it on Tuesday and I am just glad that this matter is over now,” confirmed Matomane. Matomane – currently doing duty for promotion-chasing Western Cape ABC Motsepe League club Zizwe United – also expressed his desire to return to the PSL next season. “Obviously the plan is to be back playing in the PSL again next season which is why I am working as hard I have been doing here at Zizwe United.

SAFA has condemned in the strongest terms the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals being perpetrated by what it called criminal elements. “What is happening in certain parts of the country whereby fellow Africans are being subjected to all sorts of hate and abuse is quite unacceptable,” SAFA president Danny Jordaan said. “This is not what the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy was all about. When we hosted the 2010 showpiece, it was an African World Cup, to unite the continent, speak and relate as a united family. What is happening now in some parts of the country is quite the opposite. It is like undoing all the good work and legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. South Africa is part of this great continent and we should not alienate ourselves with these regrettable and barbaric actions.” Jordaan says after years of isolation, CAF has played a critical role in South Africa being readmitted into the FIFA family. “CAF and the entire continent were at the forefront of telling the world that apartheid had no place in the sport and that unless it was abolished, South Africa should remain isolated. If it was not for them, it could probably have taken many more years for this country to enjoy the fruits of the abolition of apartheid. So instead of embracing our brothers from across the continent as part of us, we are making them feel unwelcome. This is unfortunate and unacceptable. It must stop. Everyone must say no to xenophobia (where fellow Africans are being attacked) because it is some sort of apartheid in reverse. It has no place in modern society.” South African national teams and clubs participate in various competitions on the continent and the SAFA President warned those who promote xenophobia that they risk putting our teams in a very risky position when they play away from home. “It is like saying to Africa it is us versus you. Such actions only help to isolate us from the rest of the continent. It goes against the spirit of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We as SAFA are saying these barbaric actions must end; and end now. We fought against apartheid because it segregated society and xenophobia has the same apartheid tendencies.” Dr Jordaan concluded by saying that during the fight against apartheid, most of our freedom fighters sought refuge across the continent and around the world. As a country we should never forget where we come from. During the days of the struggle, who took us in and accommodated us? Why are we today turning against the very same people who were vital in the fight against apartheid?”

The Premier Soccer League will only hand over the Absa Premiership trophy to the champions after the last round of fixtures on May 9. This was confirmed by PSL media and broadcasting manager Luxolo September. League chairman Brand de Villiers later explained the decision in a statement, saying: "The PSL, in consultation with our sponsors, Absa, have decided to hand over the trophy at the last fixture of the club that will emerge as champions of the Absa Premiership on 09 May 2015. "This means that even if a club has mathematically won the Absa Premiership before Saturday, 09 May 2015, they will not be handed the trophy until their last match.” Kaizer Chiefs can claim the title with three games to spare if they beat Polokwane City at FNB Stadium on Wednesday. The Glamour Boys will end their season against Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Itumeleng Khune has been charged with bringing the PSL into disrepute, while Bobby Motaung, Stuart Baxter, Pitso Mosimane and Alje Schut will also appear before the League's disciplinary committee. The league released a statement, which reads as follows: “The following cases will appear before the Premier Soccer League Disciplinary Committee next week. Stuart Baxter and Kaizer Chiefs: Mr Baxter and Kaizer Chiefs have been charged with contravening Rules 51 and 53 of the NSL after Mr Baxter attended a post-match press conference on 21 March 2015 after a cup fixture between Kaizer Chiefs and Black Leopards despite Mr. Baxter being ordered from the field of play during the game by the referee. He will appear on 23 April 2015. Pitso Mosimane, Alje Schut and Mamelodi Sundowns: The three parties have been charged with misconduct and unsporting behavior following their conduct during and after their league fixture against Mpumalanga Black Aces on 08 April 2015.They will appear on 20 April 2015. Bobby Motaung and Kaizer Chiefs: Mr. Motaung has been charged with unsporting behavior after he allegedly insulted a match official, Mr. Bafana Mosia on 18 March 2015 during Kaizer Chief’s fixture against Moroka Swallows. He will appear on 23 April 2015. Itumeleng Khune and Kaizer Chiefs: Mr. Khune has been charged with making improper statements and bringing the League and SAFA into disrepute following his comments on social media on 09 April 2015. He will appear on 23 April 2015. Witbank Spurs: The club has been charged with contravening Rule 8.9.1/4 after they failed to procure the timeous services of the doctor in their NFD game against Golden Arrows on 04 April 2015. They will appear on 23 April 2015.

Bloemfontein Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb says he is "really scared" by the xenophobic attacks taking place in the country, particularly in Durban. The spate of xenophobic violence has left five people dead and scores injured. "We came here to enjoy ourselves and be part of the this country... and also make people happy," Tignyemb, who is Cameroonian, said. "It's scary. I wanted to go to Durban for holidays at the end of the season but my teammates are saying I must not go there, they are going to kill. I don't know if they are seriously or joking but I am really scared. Seriously these kind of things should not happen. If there are issues, they must talk and try to fix the problems. This thing of fighting and killing is so scary."

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says the club continues to empower the PSL with their loan policy. Sundowns have lent the likes of Musa Nyatama, Mukuka Mulenga, Dove Wome, Kwanda Mngonyama, Abel Mabaso and Sibusiso Kumalo to their League rivals this season. Nyatama and Mulenga played a prominent role in Bloemfontein Celtic's 5-0 thrashing of Downs. Nyatama scored a goal, while Mulenga provided two assists at Lucas Moripe Stadium. And Mosimane - who was named PSL Manager of the Month today - feels the Brazilians deserve credit for allowing such players to feature against them in official competition. "I told you that Mamelodi Sundowns empowers the League," said Mosimane, who previously voiced the view in December following a 2-1 win at Maritzburg United. "People must accept that we help other teams stay in the Absa Premiership. You need to praise us for allowing our players to play against us. The time will come when we do stock taking at Mamelodi Sundowns."

Bloemfontein Celtic have officially engaged Mamelodi Sundowns for the services of midfielder Musa Nyatama. "We are interested to keep him. We have since written a letter to Sundowns," Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco said. Nyatama's contract expires at the end of the season, but Downs have an option on the former Maritzburg United man. 

Josta Dladla will only meet Kaizer Chiefs at the end of the season to decide his future. The 34-year-old has been at Naturena since January 2009, having joined from Mamelodi Sundowns. But Dladla has battled for game-time at Chiefs this season and, with his contract due to expire in June, talk is that he will move on. However, his representative Steve Kapeluschnik says the matter will only be decided at the end of the season.

Bloemfontein Celtic coach Clinton Larsen has hailed Absa Premiership leading scorer Lerato Lamola as one of the best strikers in the country. Lamola is currently enjoying great form in front of goal having scored 11 so far in the League this season. The former Roses United striker is favoured to win the Golden Boot this season, but Larsen says there is no surprise about Lamola's form. "Two years ago when we signed him from Roses, the first thing when we watched him play we knew there was no striker like him in the League that is so unpredictable," says Larsen. "You may never know what he is going to do when in possession. He even baffles us at training. He is a type of a player that can rip anybody apart. He may not be big and physical but he is very nippy."

SAFA's Referees’ Review Committee - which looks into the conduct of match officials within the PSL, NFD and the ABC Motsepe League - has issued varying sanctions to match officials. The sanctions take place with immediate effect and all respective officials have been informed.
The full list of sanctions:
- No appointment to the National Soccer League matches for a period of 8 (eight) weeks, and forfeiture of 50% stipend following their handling of the Nedbank match between Orlando Pirates vs Tornado FC.
Mr. Arthur GABELA
- No appointment to the National Soccer League matches for a period of 4 (four) weeks for matches involving Ajax vs SuperSport United and SuperSport United vs University of Pretoria
- No appointment to the National Soccer League matches for a period of 8 (eight) weeks and forfeiture of 50% stipend for his handling of the Kaizer Chiefs vs Black Leopards Nedbank encounter.
Mr. Zolile MTHETHO/Mr Sandile DILIKANE
- No appointment to the National Soccer League matches for a period of 4 (four) weeks and forfeiture of the stipend for the same period following handling of the match between Polokwane vs Bidvest Wits
Mr. Stevens KHUMALO
- No appointment to the National Soccer League matches for a period of 8 (eight) weeks and must forfeit 50% stipend for the same period for the way he handled the Orlando Pirates FC vs Supersport United FC and Bidvest Wits FC vs Free State Stars FC matches.
Mr. Moses PHALE/ Mr. Thando NDZANDZEKA
- Must forfeit 50% of their stipend for late arrival of the match involving Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United
Mr. Patrick JAPHTA
- Must not be appointed for 8 (eight) weeks with forfeiture of stipend for the period concerned
Santos vs FC Cape Town
- Must not be appointed until he appears before the Review Committee and/or submit the required documents {Self Assessment and Peer Assessment}
Mr. Daniel BENNETT
- Must not be appointed until he appears before the Review Committee and/or submit the required documents {Self Assessment and Peer Assessment}

Benni McCarthy has once again hinted at the possibility of coaching Orlando Pirates one day. Bafana Bafana’s record goalscorer, who won the treble with the Buccaneers in the twilight of his career, has been studying his Uefa coaching badges in Europe. "For me getting the opportunity in Europe just to learn it is a wide variety for me to learn from coaches that played at highest level and also coached at the highest level,” McCarthy says. "If my destination is to bring me back to South Africa I am ready. I have the bulletproof vest, I have my machine gun. I have all the ammunition to succeed and take whatever team I become a manager of, whether it’s Pirates or back home in Cape Town.” McCarthy adds: "I have the education. I took time to learn. As a football player you train to get better and as a manager you have to study to become better. You have to learn about your opponents and you have to learn how to understand players, which is the advantage I have over a lot of managers because having been a player myself I know how I want to be treated.  So having that on my side, hopefully I can become a better manager than I was a player.”

AmaZulu striker Ayanda Dlamini has credited coach Steve Barker for instilling belief and a strong work ethic at the club. Usuthu are making a late dash for survival under Barker, who arrived at Moses Mabhida Stadium in November after a lengthy stint in charge of University of Pretoria. Barker's side, who next host fellow strugglers Platinum Stars on April 29, are in the relegation zone with four matches left. Moroka Swallows are level on 23 points, with Free State Stars two points ahead and with a game in hand. "It has been a major boost to have him around. Our confidence as players is back and we are all looking forward to continue winning games," Dlamini told AmaZulu's website. “The support that he gives to the players is great and he adds that through a good work ethic.  We all know that in order for us to fight relegation we need to put in the hard work."

Platinum Stars winger Tlou Segolela says the technical approach of coach Cavin Johnson is helping him regain the form that saw him being rated among the PSL's best players two seasons ago. 'Sox', as the former Orlando Pirates player is affectionately known, continues to assert himself at Dikwena and is playing a key role in the club's quest to avoid relegation. Segolela, who moved to the Rustenburg-based side during the January transfer window, has been enjoying more game-time since the arrival of Johnson.  He says he is happy with the progress he is making under the new coach and believes Dikwena will be a force to be reckoned with next season. "When he [Johnson] arrived at the club, he told me that he rates me as a very good player and this boosted my confidence levels. I think I am well suited to the coach's technical approach. I enjoy running hard at opponents and I am happy that the coach gives us the freedom to express ourselves on the football pitch.” 

SAFA will organise two international friendly matches against neighbouring countries in a bid to sensitise the public on the evils of xenophobia, which have badly dented the image of the country. “We want to use the two high-profile international friendly matches as an instrument to unite this continent. What has been happening in the past few days has really left most people in a shock and dismayed,” said SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble. “We have decided to take this step [of playing two high-profile international friendly matches] as part of the fight against xenophobia. Madiba spoke of the power of sport in uniting people from different walks of life and we want to use the power of football to unite this continent and kick out this scourge within certain malcontents in our society,” added Mumble. Details of the two international friendly matches will be announced by SAFA in a few days' time.

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Isaac Chansa has returned home to Zambia and re-joined Zanaco following his return from a brief spell in the Indian Super League with North East United. Chansa will play for Zanaco this season and possibly go back to India when the Indian Super League starts again later on in the year. The 31 year-old, who has previously had two spells with Pirates, played for ZANACO for the first half of last season before moving to India. Zanaco have since confirmed the return of Chansa to the club as they seek to win the Zambian League title, which they last won in 2012.

SA players abroad round-up: Anele Ngcongca saw red, Ayanda Patosi provided an assist, while Tokelo Rantie's Bournemouth slipped off the Championship summit in European action on the weekend.
Furman played for Doncaster Rovers as they were held 0-0 by Fleetwood Town.
Jali’s KV Oostende defeated Westerlo 2-0 to get their first win in their UEFA Europa League playoff group in Belgium.
Khumalo’s Colchester United moved a step closer to relegation as they came from behind but then let their lead slip in injury-time for a 2-2 draw with Scunthorpe United.
Mokotjo played the full game for FC Twente as they lost 1-0 at FC Utrecht.
Ngcongca received a red card (two yellows) on 77 minutes in his side’s 4-0 loss to Mechelen that dents their UEFA Europa League playoff hopes.
Ntlhe saw red on 75 minutes for Peterborough United as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Barnsley.
Nunes played for Polish side Pogon Szczecin as they moved into the championship playoff positions with a 1-0 win at Cracovia Krakow.
Patosi provided an assist before coming off late in Lokeren’s 5-1 victory over Mouscron-Peruwelz that keeps them top of their UEFA Europa League playoff group in Belgium.
Phiri was taken off on 78 minutes as Brondby lost 1-0 at home to Hobro in Denmark.
Pienaar missed Everton’s 1-0 win over Burnley in the English Premiership.
Fit-again Rantie was also missing for Bournemouth as they let a late lead slip at home to Sheffield Wednesday in a 2-2 draw to drop to second in the English Championship.
Serero came on for the final 20 minutes as Ajax Amsterdam were held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-threatened NAC Breda.