Local News - Issue 281

Pirates And QPR Announce Exchange Programme

Orlando Pirates and Queens Park Rangers are pleased to announce a unique exchange programme for four young students, with the aim to engage them in a challenge exploring the impact of clubs on their local communities. The competition gives an opportunity to explore why football clubs still matter to communities today and the winners will be given a unique trip visiting the partner club in either the United Kingdom or South Africa. During the week-long trip the young people will experience a range of cultural, sporting and educational activities that will culminate in a once in a lifetime experience. The Orlando Pirates Learning Centre was opened in October 2012 and focusses on curriculum-aligned activities in Maths, ICT and English while providing learners with an opportunity to become computer literate and familiarise themselves with the latest technological innovations to prepare themselves for the work environment. The centre, situated at the club’s home ground, Orlando Stadium, has two hi-tech classrooms boasting the latest in software, courtesy of Microsoft, to help learners achieve their targets and become confident, contributing members of society. QPR in the Community Trust has a proven track record in working within the local community providing opportunities based on the main broad objectives of Health, Education, Social Inclusion and Participation, tackling National issues at a local level. The QPR Study Centre is a purpose built classroom located within the unique setting of the Loftus Road Stadium in London. Since the centre’s opening in 1998 over 5 000 local youngsters and adults have been assisted, and in addition to the education programmes delivered from the Centre, QPR also offers a range of outreach education work. During the next 10 weeks, learners from QPR in London and from Orlando in Soweto will exchange ideas and complete activities together using technology and video calling facilities at each centre. Through these activities the students will get to know more about each other and each other’s country and culture particularly with regards to football. The two winners from each country will be selected in December 2015 with their trip to either South Africa or London booked for early 2016.

Black Leopards coach Major David Bright is in trouble with the club following his comments on radio on Monday. The Botswana-born coach was speaking to Phalaphala FM when he complained bitterly about being told who to play after Lidoda Duvha lost 3-2 at home to Mbombela United in the NFD on Saturday. “We lost the game because of the substitutes… Sometimes you just have to follow what you are being told. I think you understand what I’m talking about and if I’m the driver and you tell me how to change the gears, and how to turn the wheels, definitely I can cause an accident,” Bright said. Leopards responded by saying that the coach should have voiced his concern to management instead of the media and now the matter is expected to be addressed internally.

South Africa Under-17s put up a brave fight but lost 2-1 to Costa Rica in their first ever FIFA U-17 World Cup match in Chile on Monday night. South Africa's next clash is against Korea DPR on Thursday, while Costa Rica face Russia in the day's other Group E clash. 

The newly renovated Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Bloemfontein, Free State will host the fourth festival of the 2015/16 MultiChoice Diski Challenge. The festival weekend is set to take place on Saturday and Sunday. Entrance to the stadium - which will be renamed Dr. Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium on Wednesday - will be free. Two tickets will be allocated per person for each match day, on a first come first served basis. On collection, each person will be required to produce a valid South African ID.

Bafana Bafana striker Bradley Grobler and midfielder Thamsanqa Sangweni have been withdrawn from the squad for Saturday's CHAN qualifying rematch with Angola. The pair have been recalled by their clubs SuperSport United and Chippa United respectively. South Africa lost 2-0 in the first leg at Rand Stadium this past weekend, with assistant coach Thabo Senong conceding the pressure is on. Bafana will train twice at Marks Park in Johannesburg and leave for Angola on Thursday (12h00). The return game will kick off at 15h00 (16h00 SA time).

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Polokwane City have confirmed that Kosta Papic has left his position as head coach of the struggling PSL side. Rise and Shine have endured a tough start to the 2015/16 campaign, winning just one of their opening six League encounters to sit 12th in the Absa Premiership standings. Reports suggested their under-fire coach was on the verge of an exit, which was then confirmed by the club last Thursday morning. Papic becomes the third coaching casualty of the season thus far, after Free State Stars sacked Kinnah Phiri and Maritzburg United’s Mandla Ncikazi was shown the exit door last month. 

AmaZulu have decided against signing veteran centre-back Belux Bukasa Kasonga. Kasonga was set for talks with the club's management to discuss a possible return to the NFD outfit. The 36-year-old, who is a free agent, spent seven years with Usuthu before joining BEC Tero Sasana of Thailand in 2013. However, AmaZulu media officer Brilliant Mkhathini says coach Steve Barker will not be adding the player to his roster. Barker is thought to be looking for a replacement for Togolese defender Sadate Ouro Akoriko, who joined Saudi side Al Faisaly in August.

Banyana Banyana booked a spot at the 2016 Rio Olympics after beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in Bata on Sunday. Striker Jermaine Seoposenwe netted the all-important goal on 62 minutes at the Estadio de Bata. Banyana will be joined at the global showpiece by Zimbabwe, who edged Cameroon on the away goals rule following a 2-2 stalemate. The national women's senior team made their maiden appearance at the Olympics at London 2012.

Chippa United have confirmed that Philane Shange is out for three months following a successful operation on his broken left leg. Shange, who joined the club during the off-season from relegated AmaZulu along with Nkosinathi Mthiyane, sustained the injury in the League game against Platinum Stars last month. He is currently at home in KwaZulu-Natal to follow a rehabilitation programme that will speed up the process of his recovery. Club COO Lukhanyo Mzinzi says he doubts Shange will play again this year. The former Golden Arrows attacking midfielder didn't score last season for Usuthu, and last scored in 2013/14 while at Abafana Bes’thende.  

Mbulelo ‘OJ’ Mabizela has reportedly joined ambitious First Division side Royal Eagles. The former Bafana Bafana captain has been clubless after leaving AmaZulu at the end of last season, but has now joined the likes of Katlego Mphela and Dominic Isaacs at Eagles. Mabizela became Bafana's youngest skipper at the age of 20 and landed a dream move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2003. The defender, though, failed to make an impact at White Hart Lane due to off-field issues. The ex-Orlando Pirates star has also featured for Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits, Ajax Cape Town, Platinum Stars and Chippa United. 

Thembinkosi ‘Terror’ Fanteni is keeping fit at Cape Town club Zizwe United FC. The 31-year-old, who previously played for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa, Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits, has not played competitive football for over two years.  His last club was Wits, and since then he has tried his luck at Moroka Swallows, AmaZulu, Chippa United and Bloemfontein Celtic, with no success. It was reported in April this year that Fanteni was at NFD club Royal Eagles for a trial, but was released because he was apparently unfit. He made 21 appearances for Bafana Bafana and scored two goals.

Former 2013 African Cup of Nations and African Nations Championship Local Organising Committee CEO and SABC executive Mvuzo Mbebe has passed away. The 52-year-old died at 22h30 on Monday at the ARWYP Private Hospital in Kempton Park after losing a battle with colon cancer. Mbebe, who was also the African Zone 6 Council of Sport, secretary-general, was diagnosed with cancer of the colon in 2013 and had been undergoing continuous treatment. He was admitted to the ARWYP Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on Thursday, 8 October. He is survived by his wife Nomalungelo (Noma) and two children – son Ntsika and daughter Avuziwe aged 18 and 11 years respectively. He also leaves behind his mother Thenjiwe Ngqula, brother Andile and sister Mona Lisa. He will be buried at his home in UMzimkhulu, KwaZulu-Natal, on a date to be announced.

Sunderland AFC’s head of international football development Graham Robinson has returned to South Africa last week to deliver the final stages of the Premier Skills initiative. Robinson, who kicked off the first ever Premier Skills programme in the Rainbow Nation, returned to deliver the final stages of the initiative, which involves the training of grassroots coaches around the world to help them gain the skills and confidence to run community football and coaching projects of their own.  The 18 coaches who have qualified to the final stages of the programme have been hard at work over the past few months working within their own communities as they look to become a qualified coach educator. Sunderland AFC’s visit to South Africa further strengthens the club’s long-held commitment and reputation for investing in community and education programmes in Africa, with the club also working with the nation of Tanzania and Symbion Power on the new Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park in Dar es Salaam, set to open in October, where SAFC will provide technical and practical support to the park.

Maritzburg United coach Mandla Ncikazi is in talks to join Thanda Royal Zulu as their new coach. Ncikazi is currently without a job after being sacked by the Team of Choice a few weeks ago, while Thanda have terminated the contract of Thami Ngubane. The National First Division side is currently under the watchful eye of Asanda Mvalo and the club is getting ready to announce a new coach. 

FIFA have banned former SAFA official Lindile ‘Ace’ Kika for six years for his role in alleged match-fixing prior to the 2010 World Cup. Kika, then the association’s head of national teams, was among five SAFA officials suspended in December 2012 after they were mentioned in a match-fixing report. But their suspensions were reversed and they were reinstated a month later. Now, after an investigation lasting almost a year, Kika has been banned by FIFA’s Independent Ethics Committee.

Jomo Cosmos have cast their eyes on Kenyan forward Michael Olunga with the intention of bringing him in January when his loan deal at Gor Mahia expires. The 21-year-old was among the scorers when Kenya massacred Mauritius 5-2 last week in the first leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. Cosmos boss Jomo Sono has already travelled to Nairobi to have a closer assessment of the striker, who is on loan at the Kenyan Premier League champions from Liberty Academy. Though not confirming the identity of his Kenyan target, Sono says that he has been impressed and is angling towards a January move for that player. Olunga is the man that Sono wants to use to fill up the fifth and last foreign space he still has at his club. Meanwhile, Sono has also confirmed that he has already concluded a deal for one of the two Mozambicans that he scouted at the COSAFA Cup earlier in the year.  It was reported earlier this year that The Black Mambas pair of Luis Miquissone and Isac Decarvallho were Cosmos bound.  Sono has now confirmed that he has already done a deal for one of the two players – 19 year-old Miquissone – but he will only be joining Cosmos next season.

SA players abroad - Ayanda Patosi was on target, Kamohelo Mokotjo's relegation concerns were eased, Darren Keet kept a clean-sheet, while Thulani Serero and Tokelo Rantie were inactive in Europe on the weekend.

Kagisho Dikgacoi started his 11th league game in a row for Cardiff City as they played to a 0-0 draw at Preston North End in the Championship.

Andile Jali was replaced after 77 minutes for Oostende as they dropped off the top of the league in Belgium with a 1-0 loss at Club Brugge.

Goalkeeper Darren Keet kept a clean-sheet as KV Kortrijk played to a 2-0 home win over Charleroi.

Mandla Masango came on for Danish side Randers in injury-time of their 2-1 away loss to Midtjylland and could not change the result.

Kamohelo Mokotjo helped FC Twente move away from the relegation zone in the Netherlands with a 1-0 win over NEC.

Anele Ngcongca was an unused substitute for French Ligue 1 strugglers Troyes as they lost 3-0 at Nantes and sit second-bottom in the division.

Ayanda Patosi, on as a halftime substitute, grabbed his third goal of the season but it proved just a consolation as his Lokeren side slipped into the relegation zone with a 2-1 loss at home to OH Leuven.

Lebogang Phiri played for Brondby as they completed a 2-0 success at Viborg to move up to fifth in the league.

Bradley Ralani came on for the final 10 minutes as second-tier Danish side Lyngby stayed at the top of their division with a 1-0 success over FC Roskilde.

Tokelo Rantie was not in the match day squad for Bournemouth as they were humbled 5-1 by Manchester City in the English Premier League.

Thulani Serero played no part for Ajax Amsterdam in their 2-0 win at Heracles in the Netherlands after he was injured again on national team duty.

Luther Singh was an early injury casualty for GAIS as he was replaced after 17 minutes in Sunday’s 3-0 home win over Syrianska.