Local News - Issue 302




SuperSport Keen On Keene 

SuperSport United could make an audacious move for Bidvest Wits striker James Keene at the end of the season. The Englishman joined the Clever Boys in January after failing to win a move to Kaizer Chiefs. He has impressed, scoring seven goals so far, and Matsatsantsa could make a move when his short-term deal expires in June. SuperSport coach Stuart Baxter was the man who first brought Keene to South Africa while still at Chiefs and recommened the player to Wits when a move to Naturena failed to materialise. 

SAFA has welcomed sanctions imposed on their former officials in connection with the match-fixing scandal involving Bafana Bafana's friendlies before the 2010 World Cup. FIFA today announced the suspension of ex-SAFA CEO Leslie Seibe and two former SAFA heads of refereeing, Adeel Carelse and Steve Goddard. SAFA later released a statement, which said: 'The investigation, initiated on November 2014 against SAFA officials, was conducted by Dr Cornel Borbely who is the chair of the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee, in collaboration with the FIFA Security Division. 'In this case, former head of referees Mr Lindile ‘Ace’ Kika was banned from all football-related activities for six years and former SAFA CEO Mr Leslie Sedibe was found to have infringed rules related to disclosure, cooperation and reporting of the FIFA Code of Ethics. Sedibe has been banned for five years from all football-related activities and also received a fine of CHF 20 000. 'Furthermore, former SAFA employees Mr Adeel Carelse and Mr Steve Goddard were both also found guilty and each received a ban of two years.' Poobalan Govindasamy, the chairperson of the SAFA ethics committee, said: “We are glad this matter has ultimately reached this stage since SAFA reported the matter to FIFA almost four years ago. It had dragged on too long for our liking and was starting to have an impact on us as an association and our valued stakeholders. “At SAFA we have a zero-tolerance policy for any corrupt activity which impacts negatively on this beautiful game and for that reason we welcome strong measures against any individual who is found guilty of such offenses. This should serve as a warning to anyone harbouring intentions of engaging in nefarious activities within the sport that the long arm of the law will catch up with them. Be warned.” 

The Hawks have joined in on the Senzo Meyiwa murder case, but deny they have taken over investigations. The former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain was gunned down in Vosloorus in October 2014, but 15 months later and his killers have still not been brought to justice.  The Hawks last night reconstructed the murder in the house, with everyone who was at the house at the time also present on Sunday. “We requested for them to be in attendance. We had good cooperation from everyone. The only thing now is to go back, sit down and see if there’s anything new,” says Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi. 

Newly crowned MultiChoice Diski Challenge champions Golden Arrows are gearing themselves up for a week-long trip to the Netherlands. The tour serves as a prize for winning the PSL Reserve League. The team, led by head coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi and captain Sibusiso Sibeko, will depart on Friday and return to South Africa on March 26. During their visit, the club will get to test their strengths against Beloften Eredivisie sides; PEC Zwolle, FC Twente and Heracles FC. During their stay in Holland, they will be based in Zwolle and will train at the IJsseldelta Stadium – the training venue for PEC Zwolle's first team. Arrows will also spend some time at the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) headquarters in Utrecht, training under the watchful eye of senior Eredivisie mentors. They will also get an opportunity to observe a training session of the Netherlands national team as they prepare for a friendly against France. Arrows will attend the match at the Amsterdam Arena. Abafana Bes’thende clinched the 2015/16 Asidlali trophy in dramatic fashion as they came back from a goal down to beat Free State Stars 2-1 on the final day of the season, with both goals coming in the last five minutes of the match.

The Premier Soccer League have fined AmaZulu R300 000 and Moroka Swallows R200 000 for "bringing the League into disrepute" with their bid to halt the 2014/15 Promotion/Relegation Play-offs. The clubs tried to halt the Play-offs through the courts following claims of match-fixing in the topflight. However, they failed and were later demoted from the Absa Premiership to the National First Division at the end of last season. The PSL have released a statement, which reads as follows: "AmaZulu FC and Moroka Swallow FC were charged with misconduct and bringing the League into disrepute. On 15 May 2015, the two clubs, who were campaigning in the Premier Division of the PSL at the time, launched an urgent High Court application to interdict the 2014/15 Promotion Play-offs of the PSL. The application was made by the two clubs without exhausting all the internal remedies as provided by the constitution, rules and regulations of the League."The PSL DC found the actions of AmaZulu FC and Moroka Swallows FC to be in breach of their obligations as members of the PSL as determined by the constitution and the rules of the PSL. "AmaZulu FC was found guilty and was sentenced to a fine of R300 000; R150 000 of which was suspended on condition that they are not found guilty of a similar offence during the 2015/16 season. "Moroka Swallows FC was also found guilty and was sentenced to a fine of R200 000; R100 000 of which was suspended on condition that they are not found guilty of a similar offence during the 2015/16 season."

Golden Arrows have roped in former AmaZulu midfielder John Arwuah, according to a source close to Abafana Bes'thende. Arwuah, who has been in talks with University of Pretoria, could feature off the bench in tonight's Absa Premiership clash with Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium. "I have been told John Arwuah will be on the substitutes' bench tonight," says the source. "As I'm speaking to you the club is busy preparing his profile as well." The 29-year-old was formerly at Cypriot side AEL Limassol, the same club that had Mame Niang on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns. Arwuah joined Limassol from Usuthu on a two-year deal in August last year but cut short his stay due to the club's financial problems. The Ghanaian was released by AmaZulu following their relegation from the Absa Premiership in 2014/15.

Nedbank Cup champions Mamelodi Sundowns will host Mbombela United, while Orlando Pirates will visit Jomo Cosmos in the last-16 of the competition. The Premier Soccer League decided the match-ups via a draw at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg on Thursday. Dates and venues for the games will be announced in due course.

Last-16:

Mpumalanga Black Aces vs Maritzburg United
Platinum Stars vs Polokwane City
Santos vs Free State Stars
Golden Arrows vs Baroka FC
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Mbombela United
Magesi vs Bidvest Wits
SuperSport United vs University of Pretoria
Jomo Cosmos vs Orlando Pirates

Sammy Troughton has been appointed as head coach of Vasco da Gama until the end of the season. Troughton was appointed by Vasco boss Mario Ferreira after a few disappointing results under the tutelage of the interim coach Keenin Lesch. The former Orlando Pirates, Mpumalanga Black Aces and University of Pretoria coach arrived on Monday for his first day on the job and will be assisted by Lesch and Angelo Julies. Vasco chief operating officer Edries Burton confirms the news.  “Yes, it’s true we have appointed Sammy until the end of the season,” he says. “He has no particular mandate but the expectations are that he will stabilise the club. “Look, things didn’t go according to plan thus far this season hence we brought in someone with experience.” Vasco are fourth from bottom in the NFD and in danger of being relegated. 

South Africa coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba has named his squad to face Cameroon in back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this month. The countries will ignite hostilities at the new Stade Omnisport de Limbe on March 26, and will meet again three days later at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban for the reverse fixture. Bafana Bafana trail Cameroon by five points in Group M of the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers, and must get an away win to keep their hopes of reaching Gabon next year alive. "We have selected a team that will represent us well. This coming game is a must-win," Mashaba said at a press conference at SAFA House. "If results don't go our way, the second based qualifier is still within our reach. "We are aware that Cameroon don't want to slip up. They will come here spitting fire." Strikers Dino Ndlovu and Prince Nxumalo have been rewarded for their good form, as has Mamelodi Sundowns midfield enforcer Hlompho Kekana. Mashaba has kept faith with forwards Thamsanqa Gabuza and Tokelo Rantie, saying the latter has been active with Bournemouth's second team in England. "Rantie has been playing in the second team. Despite not playing in the first team, he has still been training." Goalkeepers Itumeleng Khune and Jackson Mabokgwane have also been called up despite limited game-time, while the likes of Cheslyn Jampies, Sifiso Hlanti and William Twala have been handed an opportunity to impress by the Bafana mentor. Shakes explained the omission of Keagan Dolly, who has been a key performer for the national U-23 team and pace-setting Brazilians this season. "Dolly is not in the team. One of the reasons is the U-23s have a match coming up. We didn't want to disrupt them." Mashaba added: "We have selected purely on merit. We select players based on what we know they can do, not on whether they start for their club or not."

Bafana squad:

Goalkeepers: Khune, Mabokgwane, Keet.

Defenders: S. Nhlapo, Mbekile, Ngcongca, Matlaba, Jampies, Mathoho, Hlanti, Coetzee, Hlatshwayo.

Midfielders: Jali, Mokotjo, Serero, T. Zwane, Twala, Shongwe, Makola, Masango, Kekana.

Strikers: Gabuza, Nxumalo, Rantie, Ndlovu.

Royal Eagles have suspended Mbulelo Mabizela on allegations of misconduct. ‘OJ’, hardly a stranger to controversy, is expected to appear before the club’s DC next week. Eagles general manager Costa Bellos confirms Mabizela’s suspension, but would not go into more details.“It’s internal matter. I am not in a position to say much except to say yes, he is on suspension,” Bellos says. 

South African players aboad 

Daylon Claasen made a rare appearance for 1850 Munich when he came off the bench in the 2-1 loss to German Bundesliga II leaders Leipzig.

Kagisho Dikgacoi was a late substitute for Cardiff City in their 1-0 home win over Ipswich Town.  

Kermit Erasmus made his debut for French Ligue 1 side Rennes as he came off the bench with 10 minutes remaining in a 2-2 home draw with Lyon.

Veteran Cheyne Fowler got his new season underway in Finland with a 6-3 victory for Haka against ESPA in the country’s FA Cup. He played the first 68 minutes.

Andile Jali played for KC Oostende as they were humbled 4-1 by Genk. The side finished the regular season in fourth and now go into the championship playoffs.

Darren Keet played for Kortrijk as they lost 3-0 to Anderlecht in Belgium. The side finished the regular season in eighth position and now go into the UEFA Europa League playoff competition.

May Mahlangu played for Sint Truiden as they grabbed a last-gasp draw with Lokeren to qualify for the UEFA Europa League playoffs. Defeat would have seen them finish 15th and their season come to a premature end.

Mandla Masango was left on the bench for Danish side Randers in their 1-0 loss to Brondby.

Tefu Mashamaite helped Hacken into the semifinals of the Swedish Cup as they defeated Halmstad 1-0.

Kamohelo Mokotjo did not play for FC Twente in their 2-1 win over PEC Zwolle on Saturday after returning to South Africa for what his club called “private business”.

Dino Ndlovu, who came off midway through the second half, failed to get on the scoresheet in a 1-0 loss for his Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta in the championship playoffs.

Bafana Bafana right-back Anele Ngcongca suffered the humiliation of being on the end of a 9-0 loss to PSG, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic plundering four goals for the league champions. Ngcongca was subbed midway through the second half when his side were already 7-0 down.

Ricardo Nunes played for Polish side Pogoń Szczecin in their 1-1 away draw with Zaglebie Lubin.

Ayanda Patosi played the first 78 minutes for Lokeren in their 1-1 draw with Sint Truiden. The side finished the regular season in 11th position and now go into the UEFA Europa League playoff competition.

Lebogang Phiri played for Danish side Brondby in their 1-0 home win over Randers. 

Bradley Ralani re-started his season in Denmark with a substitute appearance for second-tier leaders Lyngby as they played to a 1-1 draw with Skive.

Granwald Scott started his second game in succession for Slovakian side Slovan Bratislava as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Zlaté Moravce.

Thulani Serero was left on the bench for Ajax Amsterdam’s 2-2 home draw with NEC that leaves them trailing leaders PSV Eindhoven by a single point.