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Local News - Issue 262

Four players Withdraw From Bafana Squad
Bafana landed in Durban without Tefu Mashamaite, as well as the injured trio of Dean Furman, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Mzikayise Mashaba. Mashamaite has withdrawn due to family commitments while Furman is nursing a knee injury; Vilakazi is out with an ankle injury while Mashaba is suffering from a shoulder injury. Head coach Ephraim Mashaba has called up four players to replace the quartet – Tshepo Gumede, Ntsikelelo Nyauza (both of Orlando Pirates); Siphelele Ntshangase (Black Leopards) and Jabulani Shongwe of Bidvest Wits. All the overseas-based players, with the exception of Tokelo Rantie who is getting married this weekend, have reported for national team duty – Anele Ngcongca, Ayanda Patosi, Andile Jali (all from Belgium); Thulani Serero (Netherlands); and May Mahlangu (Turkey).

Bafana Bafana squad:
GOALKEEPERS: Jackson Mabokgwane (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Itumeleng Khune (unattached), Brilliant Khuzwayo (Kaizer Chiefs)
DEFENDERS: Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk FC, Belgium), Patrick Phungwayo (Orlando Pirates), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates), Siyabonga Nhlapo (Bidvest Wits), Clayton Daniels (SuperSport United), Thulani Hlatshwayo (BidVest Wits), Rivaldo Coetzee (Ajax Cape Town), Marc Van Heerden (AmaZulu), Tshepo Gumede (Orlando Pirates), Ntsikelelo Nyauza (Orlando Pirates)
MIDFIELDERS: Andile Jali (Oostende FC, Belgium), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), Bongani Zungu (Mamelodi Sundowns), May Mahlangu (Konyaspor FC, Turkey), Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam FC, Netherlands), Ayanda Patosi (Lokeren FC, Belgium), Thuso Phala (SuperSport United), Mandla Masango (MP Black Aces), Jabulani Shongwe (BidVest Wits)
STRIKERS: Bonginkosi Ntuli (AmaZulu), Vuyisile Wana (Moroka Swallows), Tokelo Rantie (AFC Bournemouth, England), Gift Motupa (Baroka FC), Sphelele Ntshangase (Black Leopards)

Free State Stars defender Daniel Cardoso has confirmed that his reported move to Kaizer Chiefs is "pretty much done". The newly capped Bafana Bafana centre-back is widely understood to have signed a three-year deal with the Absa Premiership champions, although the deal was not confirmed as was expected at a big Chiefs press conference last week. Cardoso says he is waiting for his new club to announce the deal before he can talk freely about the move. “There isn’t any more news, I want them [Chiefs] to make the announcement first," Cardoso said. "It’s pretty much done, so it will go through. I’m definitely excited but I’ve gotta thank Free State Stars for giving me the platform.” The 26-year-old will replace Tefu Mashamaite in the Amakhosi backline after the PSL Footballer of the Season turned down the club's new offer on financial grounds.

Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim Mashaba says he will continue to rotate the captaincy and the number one jersey going into the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Mashaba has passed the armband around since taking charge in September, and surprisingly used three goalkeepers in as many matches at the Nations Cup finals earlier this year. And Mashaba will stick with the policy as he prepares his team for their Group M opener with Gambia at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday. "What we are seeing here [pointing to his squad], every player is raising their hands up to say, 'I'm available and I can perform this responsibility'," Mashaba says from Bafana's training base at People’s Park in Durban. "That is what we are seeing when we make them house captain because it is still the same. Actually being the house captain, it's more work than the team captain when you are going to play. On the field of play... what is your responsibility as the captain? It's to toss the coin and it is finished, because you already have given the decision and you can't go and query that decision otherwise you find yourself in the stands. But in the camp the player needs to make sure he brings the players together and if there are problems he's got to make sure he sorts them out before coming to us. And of course we know players like to take chances. We need players who will handle such things." Mashaba has called up glovemen Itumeleng Khune, Jackson Mabokgwane and Brilliant Khuzwayo for the upcoming affair. "Yes, we will rotate there as well," he added. "I want people to think back when we started. As we said, we are building up a team and we have now laid a good foundation but that foundation doesn't mean to say we are not going to look at other players... we need to make sure we also give others a chance. If you look at the goalkeeping berth... three top goalkeepers in our league so we got to make sure who ever plays and whoever is on the list on the day gives of their best." Bafana will also host Angola in a friendly at Cape Town Stadium on June 16.

Fiston Abdul Razak has confirmed his transfer to Mamelodi Sundowns. The Burundian striker penned a three-year contract after a transfer fee in the region of R3-million was agreed with his club Sofapaka. The contract also states that Sofapaka will earn 20 percent should Sundowns sell him to another team. Razak has now confirmed the signing, posting pictures of him in the Sundowns jersey on his Facebook page.

Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter is on the verge of signing a one-year deal with Turkish team Genclerbirligi. The Englishman left Naturena at the end of three successful seasons, and is now set to continue his career in Europe. “I wasn’t planning to dive straight back in to work, but thought that a one-year contract allows me to work and also decide what the next step for me will be,” Baxter said.

Former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain Thabo Mngomeni believes that the Under-23 rule currently used in the National First Division does not aid development and should be scrapped. The rule, which states that five players under the age of 23 must start a match, has come in for criticism, with Jomo Sono the latest to have a go. And Mngomeni, who started his professional career with Cape Town Spurs and made his name at Umtata Bush Bucks, shares that view. “This rule of forcing First Division clubs to start with five Under-23 players is not good for both the clubs and the players. Now we are in a situation where you have clubs using players who are not ready to play at that level and they want to call that development. It is not development. Overseas teams have better development structures because they have been doing that for many years. By the time their players reach the age of 23 they are ready, but here our development is at that level. We should do away with that rule.”

The Carling Black Label Cup will be played on August 1 following a clash of schedule with the CAF Confederation Cup. The match was originally pencilled in for July 25 at FNB Stadium, but Orlando Pirates’ qualification for the group stages means that will have to be moved as they have a fixture on that date. The Carling Black Label Cup was originally set to be moved to July 18, but both Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs have since confirmed their participation in the King’s Cup tournament in Swaziland on that day. With the weekends of July 10-12 and August 7-9 also seeing CAF fixtures played, it leaves only August 1 for the pre-season match to be played.

While Mandla Masango won’t comment on a possible move to Mpumalanga Black Aces, Safa seem to think the deal has been completed. The midfielder will leave Kaizer Chiefs when his contract runs out later this month, having rejected the club’s new offer, and it has been reported that he will make the move to Aces to link up with Muhsin Ertugral. While there has been no confirmation from either side, Safa seem to have some inside info, having put Masango’s club down as MP Black Aces in the latest Bafana Bafana squad. Interestingly, on the press release sent out to the media, the 25-year-old has no club down, but on the SAFA website it says Aces. Masango though, won’t comment on the speculation, telling "I don't want to say anything regarding my future plans.”

Orlando Pirates have learnt the identity of their opponents for the CAF Confederation Cup group stages. The Buccaneers reached Group B after a 6-1 aggregate hammering of AS Kaloum on Saturday afternoon, and will be joined in the four-ball by AC Leopards, CS Sfaxien and Zamalek. Congolese side Leopards eliminated Nigeria’s Warri Wolves 4-3 on aggregate, having lost the first leg 3-1.  Sfaxien from Morocco beat Ivory Coast’s ASEC 3-1, while Egyptian powerhouses Zamalek edged DR Congo side Sanga Balende 3-2. Group A will consist of Esperance (Tunisia), Stade Malien (Mali), Al Ahly (Egypt) and ES Sahel (Tunisia).

Moroka Swallows striker Vuyisile Wana has suggested he may join Bloemfontein Celtic next season. Wana revealed that he is unwilling to go down to the National First Division with Swallows, and that he could reunite with Celtic chairman Max Tshabalala. The pair once worked together at Roses United. "I don't want to go down to the NFD, that's not an option," says Wana, who is in the Bafana Bafana squad to face Gambia in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday. "Rumour is that Celtic are interested in me because Max Tshabalala was my chairman at Roses United. But I will decide about my future after Bafana Bafana games. I'm still waiting for my agent."

SuperSport United teenager Zama Rambuwane is determined to make an impact on trial at Belgian giants Club Brugge. Rambuwane, who competed for SuperSport in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge this past season, recently played two matches against English outfit Liverpool and Jupiler League side Genk. And the 17-year-old midfielder feels he gave a good account of himself. “I am really happy with how I expressed myself in the two games I played,” Rambuwane told his club's website. “It’s every players dream at the SuperSport academy to play abroad and follow in the footsteps of players like [Kamohelo] Mokotjo and I am no different. For me to achieve that goal I first need to show here that I am ready to go to Europe. You cannot go to Europe if you are not an important player here, if you are not one of the best in the team. This is what I say to myself. If I prove this, for sure, opportunities like these will arrive.”

Milano United have accepted an offer from Polokwane City for Nazier Jacobs. The 24-year-old midfielder, who previously played for Cape Town All Stars, will now enter talks with Rise and Shine that could see him playing in the top-flight next season.

Former Fifa Executive Committee member Charles Blazer has confirmed to a US federal judge that he and others took bribes from South Africa for the hosting of the 2010 World Cup. Prosecutors on Wednesday revealed a 20-page transcript from November 2013, in which Blazer stated that he had taken bribes from 2004 right up to 2011. Blazer, who served on the Fifa executive commitee as well as General Secretary of Concacaf, admitted to accepting bribes specifically for the hosting rights of the 1998 World Cup hosting right in France as well as hosting rights for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. “From 1997 through 2013, I served as a Fifa executive committee member. One of my responsibilities in that role was participating in the selection of the host countries for the World Cup. I also served as General Secretary of Concacaf from 1990 through December of 2011, and was responsible for, among other things, participating in the negotiations for sponsorship and media rights. During my association with Fifa and Concacaf, among other things, I and others agreed that I or a co-conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity. Among other things, I agreed with other persons in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup. Beginning in or about 1993 and continuing through the early 2000s, I and others agreed to accept bribes and kickbacks in conjunction with the broadcast and other rights to the 1996, '1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 Gold Cups. Beginning in or around 2004 and continuing through 2011, I and others on the Fifa executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup. Among other things, my actions described above had common participants and results.” Also in the transcript, Blazer continued: "Between April of 2004 and May 2011, I and others who were fiduciaries to both Fifa and Concacaf, in contravention of our duties, I and others, while acting in our official capacities, agreed to participate in a scheme to defraud Fifa and Concacaf of the right to honest services by taking undisclosed bribes. I and others agreed to use e-mail, telephone, and a wire transfer into and out of the United States in furtherance of the scheme. Funds procured through these improper payments passed through JFK Airport in the form of a cheque."

Orlando Pirates have beaten Kaizer Chiefs to the pre-contract signing of Soweto-born striker Moses Mukasi. Mukasi, who has been described as the hottest property coming out of Soweto, is set to join Pirates when he returns for pre-season training before the end of this month. 'Jomo', as the 20-year-old is affectionately known, is currently on the books of SAB League side Dube Continental. "It's a done deal. Mukasi is an Orlando Pirates player now," says a source at Parktown.  "Chiefs were interested but I believe the boy opted to play for Pirates," he adds.

Bidvest Wits midfielder Erwin Isaacs’ proposed permanent move to Ajax Cape Town is off after the Urban Warriors dropped their interest. Ajax have decided against taking up the option of buying him outright despite a productive loan spell at the club during the second half of the season. Wits have also confirmed that the duo of Ryan Chapman and Denver Mukamba will be returning following respective loan spells at SuperSport United and University of Pretoria. S’boniso Gumede has returned from a loan spell at Mpumalanga Black Aces while Kees Kwakman has returned home to Holland, where he will re-join FC Volendam on a three-year contract. The club has also decided against taking up the option of a further year on Mthokozisi Msomi’s contract.

Mpumalanga Black Aces have confirmed their technical team that will assist new head coach Muhsin Ertugral next season. Patrick Mabedi has been hired as an assistant coach, having previously played under Ertugral at Kaizer Chiefs. Graham Oosthuis has been appointed team manager, joining the side after a 10-year spell with University of Pretoria. Calvin Marlin, who retired after the past season, will now coach the goalkeepers at AmaZayoni. Meanwhile, Lombi Mabusela will remain in charge of the MultiChoice Diski League side (reserve team), while Elsa Storm (conditioning coach), Adolf Msiza (masseur), Sholem Lange (physiotherapist), Ishmael `Sonnyboy` Tshabalala (kit manager), Billy Mabatha and David Marota (drivers) and Taki Sanzo (security) will also continue in their roles.

Golden Arrows coach Shaun Bartlett believes the best two teams from the NFD were rewarded with promotion to the PSL. Arrows were automatically elevated after claiming league honours, with runners-up Jomo Cosmos following them into the topflight after winning the Promotion Play-Offs last Wednesday night. "Yeah I think they did. I think it has been proven as we were the two teams that were top of the league for most of the season and they were the one that were pushing us all the way for the first spot," Bartlett said. "For the last few games, we were more consistent and they got a couple of bad results but they were the most difficult team in the NFD that we encountered the whole season." Bartlett believes Cosmos can preserve their PSL status next term if they keep the core of their squad, including influential attackers Charlton Mashumba and Brice Aka. Mashumba, though, looks certain to leave Ezenkosi amid strong interest in his services. "This is a sort of different Cosmos; they are very physical and the same with the strikers. Also with Aka and Mashumba, those guys are scoring goals. They will once again be a difficult team to come up against in the PSL. To 'Bra J' [Jomo Sono], it must be a big relief after a few years away from the PSL and to be back and I think it is well deserved as he has been working towards it for quite a few years. I think he was going for the automatic promotion in the PSL but once he didn't get it, you could see that he was still striving to get that promotion." Meanwhile, Bartlett declined to comment on his future, with the club yet to disclose whether they will retain the former Bafana Bafana striker for next season.

A letter has emerged indicating SAFA president Danny Jordaan was involved in the $10-million payment to Concacaf that US prosecutors allege was a South African government bribe to secure hosting rights for the 2010 World Cup. According to the Mail & Guardian, Jordaan, who headed the country's World Cup bid, wrote to Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke on December 10, 2007 regarding the payment of $10m to the 2010 Fifa World Cup Diaspora Legacy Programme. The letter describes how the government intended to pay the money, with Jordaan suggesting Fifa deduct the amount from the 2010 LOC's future operational budget and deal directly with the Diaspora Legacy support programme. Then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Deputy Minister of Finance Jabu Moleketi are also mentioned in the letter in connection with the money. Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday again denied the $10m was a bribe, saying the payment was above board. Jordaan’s letter predates the one that surfaced earlier in the week, involving then-SAFA president Molefi Oliphant. Oliphant wrote to Valcke requesting that then-CFU boss Jack Warner be tasked with managing the Diaspora Legacy Programme. Warner is among several current and former high-ranking Fifa officials that have been indicted on charges of corruption.

A former Egyptian minister claims former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner asked for $7-million to secure seven votes for their 2010 World Cup Bid. Warner – the ex-Concacaf president who pocketed the $10-million the South African Government paid for the African Diaspora Legacy Programme – has recently promised to expose rampant bribery within Fifa after being arrested as part of the US investigation into FIFA corruption. Now Egypt's former minister of youth and sports Aley Eddine Helal says Warner offered the country the chance to buy votes in 2004, but they declined. "Warner was the one who approached us from Fifa. He said he could guarantee us seven votes," Helal said. "He asked for one $1-million for each vote. Egyptian FA president at the time, Youssef el-Dahshori, added: "We didn't pay any bribes. That was one of the reasons why we didn't get any votes." Warner allegedly double-crossed Morocco, from whom he reportedly accepted a bribe of $1-million, as South Africa won the Bid with 14 votes to Morocco's 10. Egypt received no votes. The British press has also reported that Morocco actually won the 2010 Bid but the results were falsified, citing secret video recordings of then-Fifa executive committee member Ismail Bhamjee allegedly talking to an undercover reporter.

SA players abroad round-up: Siyanda Xulu’s exit from Rostov has been all but confirmed after he was left out of the club’s two relegation play-off fixtures. Xulu has endured a troubled stay in Russia, with speculative reports linking the 23-year-old with a return to Mamelodi Sundowns or a move to PSL champions Kaizer Chiefs. The Bafana Bafana international was once again a spectator this past week as Rostov defeated second-tier Tosno 5-1 on aggregate to retain their topflight status. 

LEBOGANG PHIRI - Phiri’s season is also at an end as Brondby lost 1-0 to Esbjerg in their final league game having already secured third.
RICARDO NUNES - Nunes closed his season in Poland by playing for Pogoń Szczecin in their 2-1 loss to Slask Wrocław. Nunes’ side finished last in the eight-team championship playoffs.
AYANDA NKILI - Orebro’s Nkili came off midway through the second half of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Halmstad in the Swedish league.
SURPRISE RALANI - Ralani played the full 90 minutes for Danish second-tier side Lyngby as they closed their season with a 1-1 draw at Viborg. They finished third, not good enough for promotion.

TIYA SHIPALANE  - Shipalane played for Carolina Railhawks as they drew 1-1 at home with Minnesota United.