Local News - Issue 299

PSL Announce Ticket Sales For Nedbank Cup

With just over a week to go until the Nedbank Cup kicks off, the PSL on Monday announced that tickets are now on sale for all 16 matches. The Nedbank Cup last round of 32 will kick-off on the first week of March  – with the first fixtures pencilled for Wednesday, 2 March.  Tickets can be purchased at Computicket and Shoprite Checkers stores nationwide. Tickets for the last round of 32 fixtures will be R40 for adults and R10 for children under the age of 12. However, for the Soweto Derby fixture featuring Orlando Pirates against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon, (5 March), ticket prices will sell between R100 (level 1 and 2), R80 (level 5) and R15 for children under the age of 12. The last round of 32 fixtures will be played over six days, with Wednesday opening fixture pitting NFD duo Mthatha Bucks and Santos against each other, while Maritzburg United host Black Leopards at the Harry Gwala Stadium on the same day. Both fixtures will kick-off at 19h30. The last day of the Nedbank Cup last 32 will be on Tuesday, 8 March as Jomo Cosmos play Amazulu at Olen Park while the Dube Birds, Moroka Swallows will be at home against SuperSport United at the Dobsonville. 

Mame Niang has revealed that he felt unwanted at current PSL log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at the start of the season, thus resulting in his move away from the club. The towering Senegalese striker initially joined Cyprus side AEL Limassol on loan, but cut his stint there short due to financial problems at the club, before switching to National First Division side AmaZulu in the January transfer window. Downs coach Pitso Mosimane has last season said that he would put the lanky forward to good use, especially in CAF matches after his solid performance against TP Mazembe last year, yet this did not bear fruition. His unease at Chloorkop, accompanied by paperwork problems, resulted in his move away from Pretoria. Niang, who previously played for Germany side VFL Wolsfburg in 2007 and 2008, says he endured a difficult time in Cyprus as well, which triggered his move back to Mzansi. The 31-year-old, who is reunited with Steve Barker who coached him at University of Pretoria in the 2012/13season, has made two League appearances thus far for Usuthu.

Kaizer Chiefs have joined Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the latest Q-Innovation Quarter Three standings. The Brazilians had a rare slip-up in the Absa Premiership when they were held 0-0 at home by Golden Arrows this past weekend, while Kaizer Chiefs beat SuperSport United 2-1 in Cape Town.  It puts both sides on 13 points, though Sundowns enjoy the better goal-difference. In third place is Platinum Stars, who moved up to 11 points following their narrow 1-0 win against Jomo Cosmos, while Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates are a point further back after recording comfortable victories this weekend. At the other end of the table, University of Pretoria and Free State Stars are propping up the table with one point apiece in five games played. Jomo Cosmos and Golden Arrows have four points each.

In anticipation of their Free Fan Day on Sea Point Promenade on Saturday 27 February, La Liga reached out to young footballers from the local communities of Joe Slovo and Hangberg through coaching sessions this past weekend. Hosted by former Bafana Bafana player and Metro Stars legend Stanton Fredericks, alongside Thabo Mngomeni (former Bafana Bafana captain), Nasief Morris (former Bafana Bafana/Milano United defender) and Ryan Harrison (former Bidvest Wits/Swansea City goalkeeper), the coaching sessions saw youngsters aged 10–12 learn new tricks. It also included talent assessment of the kids, group sessions where they could play with their local heroes on the same team, while also showing off their skills. What’s more, these youngsters will also have the great opportunity to meet Liga BBVA Ambassadors Gaizka Mendieta and Patrick Kluivert, with additional coaching sessions planned on the morning of the La Liga Free Fan Day. The show will start at 1pm and it will be free for anyone to attend. The main attraction will be a massive screen to watch the game between Real Madrid CF and Club Atlético de Madrid, which kicks off at 5pm. In addition, a draw to win a trip to Spain will take place and Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, has confirmed his presence at the event. 

The Premier Soccer League together with sponsors, MultiChoice have announced that Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto will host the MultiChoice Diski Challenge final festival on Saturday, 27 February. The PSL Reserve League's final round of fixtures will see all 16 clubs in action from 09h00 in the morning with the final fixtures scheduled to kick-off at 15h00. Three clubs, namely Lamontville Golden Arrows, Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City are still in with a chance to be crowned champions next week.  Entrance to the stadium is free and tickets will be available at Computicket outlets and Shoprite/Checkers Money Market counters in Gauteng. Two tickets will be allocated per person on a first-come-first served basis. On collection, people will be required to produce a valid South African ID document. The PSL will advise on the availability of tickets in due course.

National First Division side AmaZulu have terminated the services of on loan midfielders, Ayabulela Konqobe (Magqwaka) and Avela Cezu with immediate effect. The two joined Steve Barker’s squad from Ajax Cape Town and Mamelodi Sundowns respectively on a season long loan spell. “Both players failed to adhere to the club’s rules, and so their contracts have been terminated with immediate effect,” said AmaZulu General Manager, Lunga Sokhela.

Ajax Cape Town have announced the signing of midfielder Ashley Hartog on a short-term contract. “Ajax Cape Town are delighted to have acquired the services of Ashley Hartog until the end on the 2015/16 Absa Premiership season,” read a statement released by the club. Hartog, who has previously turned out for Sint Truidense (Belgium), SuperSport United and Maritzburg United in the past, had started training with the Urban Warriors two weeks ago, before earning himself a short-term deal. The 33-year-old revealed his delight in signing with Ajax, and is looking forward to integrating himself into Roger de Sa’s youthful team. “It’s been nice to train with these players for the two weeks before signing, seeing that I know most of the players here which made it very easy for me to fit in,” he says. “It’s very exciting to actually sign a contract with Ajax Cape Town because I was here before and it didn’t work out. To sign here at my age is a big thing for me. The team is doing great with so many young players, even the recent CAF trip to Angola had a lot of youngsters which is great to see. “For a more experienced player to come in and settle in with them is also a great feeling.

South Africa will play host to the 2016 Africa Futsal Cup of Nations tournament from 15–24 April 2016. The event is held under the auspices of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) for the men’s national teams. Eight nations will descend upon this country to battle it out for the title, which will see the top three finishers representing Africa at the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia from 10 September to 1 October to make up the 24 countries at the World Cup. The 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be the 8th edition of the FIFA Futsal World Cup. The eight that will be playing in the African qualifiers are Angola (2nd appearance), Egypt (5th), Libya (3rd), Morocco (4th), Mozambique (3rd), South Africa (4th hosts), Tunisia (2nd) and Zambia (debut). “Once again we are delighted as a country to be hosting this event. Because of our readiness and existing facilities CAF has seen it fit for us to once again to play host to one of their prestigious tournaments where the top three coming from this tournament will head to the World Cup in Colombia later this year – and we are confident South Africa will be among three,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan. “We are also hopeful that hosting this event will give more impetus on the sport growing in this country. We have, without doubt, some of the most skilled football players in the country who are better-suited for this type of football and if we put our energy on it we can become world beaters.” For the 2016 Tournament, 12 teams were involved in playing qualifying matches that resulted in 6 of them qualifying for this championship. The seventh and eighth teams are the reigning champions (Egypt) and the host country (South Africa) that qualified automatically. The eight teams have been drawn into two groups of four each, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semi-finals. Semi-final winners and third-place winners qualify for 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup. The matches will be played at Ellis Park Arena and Wembley Stadiums in Johannesburg.

Groups for the Africa Futsal Cup of Nations, South Africa 2016:

Group A

South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Tunisia

Group B

Egypt, Libya, Angola, Morocco

Thanda Royal Zulu have appointed former Chippa United coach Roger Sikhakhane as their new mentor. Sikhakhane, who won his Labour Court case last week against Chippa regarding his outstanding salary, takes over from David Bright, who was released by Thanda. It was reported last week that Sikhakhane was closing in on a move to Thanda, with Amabhubesi CEO Sfiso Biyela now confirming his appointment until the end of the season. "As I speak to you now, he is at training,” says Biyela. "He is our coach and is set to travel with the team when we travel to Cape Town this weekend.” 

Goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia’s contract with SuperSport United has been terminated. Heredia was demoted to United’s development academy after the departure of former head coach Gordon Igesund, with whom he worked with in the latter’s tenure as Bafana Bafana coach. Matsatsantsa have since replaced Heredia with Lee Baxter, who is the of new man in charge Stuart Baxter. Heredia, who has also previously worked at Orlando Pirates confirmed his departure from Supersport, saying it was a mutual agreement between both parties. "We met on Friday and both agreed that it was in the best of interest to all parties involved to part ways,” says Heredia. "We parted ways amicably.” 

Chippa United boss Chippa Mpengesi has confirmed that he will meet with Dan Malesela very soon with the intention to offer him a long-term contract. Malesela joined United towards the end of last year after the club suspended Roger Sikhakhane on allegations of reporting to work smelling of alcohol – accusations for which the club have since been ordered to publicly apologise. Former Orlando Pirates defender Malesela is currently doing well since taking over the coaching reigns and the Chilli Boys are sitting at number six on the Absa Premiership table. Mpengesi has confirmed that he will offer Malesela a permanent position very soon. Mpengesi has also paid tribute to Sikhakhane for what he described as a great contribution to the club. 

National First Division side AmaZulu have confirmed the appointment of former Bafana Bafana midfielder Delron Buckley as the club's new assistant coach. Buckley is the latest to join Usuthu after the club recently signed veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe before acquiring the services of Mame Niang on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns. The Durban-based side have been without an assistant to head coach Steve Barker since the departure of Ronnie Moroka last season. The 38-year-old former Maritzburg United winger has revealed his intention of wanting to join AmaZulu back in 2012, shortly after arriving back in the country from Germany."Actually, I tried to join the club in 2012, and in 2013 I tried again," says Buckley.  "For the third time I applied for the job here and I'm looking forward, and hoping, to bring AmaZulu back into the PSL. It is a team that belongs in the PSL." The Durban-born former winger left the county in 1998 at the age of 21, and spent most of his playing career for German outfits VFL Bochum, Arminia Bielefeld and Borussia Dortmund. He was part of South Africa's side that went to Korea/Japan in the 2002 with the likes of Siyabonga Nomvethe, who he will now be coaching.

South African players abroad  

Daylon Claasen returned to the match-day squad for 1860 Munich in the German Bundesliga II, but did not make it off the bench. 

Kermit Erasmus is still waiting to make his senior team debut for Ligue 1 side Rennes. He played again for the club’s reserve side on Saturday.

Andile Jali was pulling the strings in midfield for Belgian side KV Oostende as they thumped Gent 5-2.

May Mahlangu played as Sint Truiden lost 3-0 to Darren Keet’s Kortrijk to slip closer to the relegation zone. It is panic stations a bit for coach Chris O’Loughlin.

Pule Maraisane scored his first goal in Sweden in a 3-1 Swedish Cup loss to Helsingborgs. The goal was set up by compatriot Luther Singh, who also started the game.

Tefu Mashamaite hit the woodwork twice as Hacken were held to a 0-0 draw by lower league Brommapojkarna in the Swedish Cup.

Kamohelo Mokotjo played the full game for Dutch side FC Twente as they took a giant step closer to safety with a 3-0 home win over bottom side Cambuur, their fourth victory in a row. 

Dino Ndlovu netted his 16th goal of the season in a losing cause for Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta as they went down 2-1 to APOEL.

Anele Ngcongca’s Troyes were beaten 3-1 by Monaco in France’s Ligue 1.

Ricardo Nunes started his first game since August after a long-term injury problem as his Polish side Pogoń Szczecin played to a 0-0 draw with league leaders Piast Gliwice. 

Ayanda Patosi returned to the Lokeren starting line-up and played for 75 minutes in the 0-0 draw with Genk.

Thulani Serero was on the bench for Ajax Amsterdam in their 3-0 win against Excelsior Rotterdam that leaves them a point behind leaders PSV Eindhoven.