SPORT

Chelsea sign Azpilicueta

London – Chelsea have signed Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta from Marseille, the Premier League club said on Friday.

“The 22-year-old right-back, who recently represented Spain at the London Olympics, arrives at Stamford Bridge following a two-year spell in France’s Ligue 1 with Marseille,” Chelsea said on their website (www.chelseafc.com).

No transfer fee or length of contract were mentioned.

Azpilicueta started his career at Osasuna, before leaving La Liga for Ligue 1 in 2010.

While not capped at international level, he has represented his country at age-group level since making the under-16 team in 2005.

Azpilicueta is coach Roberto Di Matteo’s fifth summer signing, following Eden Hazard, Oscar, Marko Marin and Thorgan Hazard to Stamford Bridge.

He is the fourth Spanish player at the club, linking up with Juan Mata, Oriol Romeu and Fernando Torres.

Wigan Athletic said on Thursday they have accepted Chelsea’s fifth bid for their winger Victor Moses.

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Chiefs set to sign defender

Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter may sign a defender on loan to help ease the long-term unavailability of Bafana Bafana centre-back Morgan Gould.

 

Gould, an off-season signing from SuperSport United, has been ruled out for up to six months after rupturing his Achilles tendon in training on Tuesday.

 

Ex-Wits skipper Tefu Mashamaite partnered Eric Mathoho at the back in Chiefs’ 2-1 win over Sundowns in midweek, with Baxter short of cover following the recent surprise departures of Thomas Sweswe and Dominic Isaacs.

 

“We’ll be looking to probably loan someone. But I don’t think there’s any local club who’ll do us any favours if we are gonna try and sign a player here,” Baxter said in the Sowetan.

 

“So, it may be a player from abroad. But I can’t make any sweeping statements here, I’m not making any promises because we’ve only discussed this at the executive level last night.

 

“It’s a hole we’ll try and fill. If we don’t fill it, we’ll get on with the players we’ve got. I’ve got confidence in them.”

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MTN 8 IS BACK

Following a week of confusion and uncertainty on the future of the inimitable Top 8, the PSL will tomorrow announce the MTN at the launch of the oldest season opener in the country. PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza and MTN’s Serame Taukobong will tomorrow announce the details which are not expected to be much different from last year’s. Earlier, there was uncertainty of the tournament’s future following news that the current financial crisis is putting strains on many companies that sponsor the league.

For more details go to http://www.oshebeng.co.za

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SA U20 return from Congo on a mission to reverse the result

BY Obakeng Maje

The South African Under 20 Men’s National Team (Amajita) arrived back in the country today following their first round, first leg African Youth Championship qualifying match against Congo which they narrowly lost two-one (2-1).

But despite going down 2-1 at the Alphonse Massamba Debat Stadium in Brazzaville on Saturday, 28 July 2012, Solly Luvhengo’s charges will take heart from their gallant performance in stifling heat.

With an away goal advantage, the South Africans stand a good chance of progressing to the second round. A 1-0 victory will be good enough to send them through to the next stage of the competition.

Amajita were the first to get onto the score sheet when Thabani Mthembu rifled home in the eighth minute. The hosts levelled matters from the penalty spot shortly before the half-time whistle, with the winning goal coming early in the second half.

South Africa Under 20 coach, Luvhengo believes his charges have what it takes to outplay the Congolese in the return leg.

“We scored an early goal but were not able to protect the lead and win the match. We created several good chances to put the issue beyond doubt but were made to pay the heavy penalty for spurning those chances.

“Now that we know how our opponents play, we will be more prepared in the second leg and I remain confident the boys will do the country proud. I believe we will progress to the next round, I have no doubts,” said Luvhengo.

The return leg clash will be played on Saturday, 11 August at venue still be confirmed.

The 2013 edition of the U-20 African Youth Championship will be hosted by Algeria.

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The fans have spoken… or have they?

Moeneeb_Khune

There’s no questioning the innovative nature of the Carling Cup, a unique competition which affords the fans of two of South Africa’s most popular teams a rare opportunity to have a say in who represents their clubs.

Statistics released by organisers prior to Saturday’s second instalment of this distinctive match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates showed more than 20 million votes were cast by fans in selecting the line-ups for both teams.

And, indeed, the event at FNB Stadium reignited memories of the World Cup final at the same venue two years, with over 92000 fans packing the Nasrec calabash-shaped stadium.

There was drama on the field, too, with Chiefs having for long periods looking set to avenge last year’s defeat to their rivals after taking an early lead through Abia Nale, only to be floored by a late, late Benni McCarthy header that sent the match to penalties.

Pirates emerged victorious there – winning 5-4 – sending their fans into rapturous celebration in what was a clear warning that the fighting spirit that won them two trebles in the past two seasons is still there.

But for all its inimitability and innovation, Saturday also served as a sad reminder that the Carling Cup remains an idea conceived out of questionable motives. It is still fresh in the minds of many that it was sprung on South Africans just a few days after we had been told the Charity Spectacular had been canned due to “fixture congestion”.

The SA football fraternity eventually had to accept that absurd claim, but another which bordered on the ridiculous was heard on Saturday. Having selected the starting XIs, fans were urged to make a substitution on either side and, we were told, they decided that both Itumeleng Khune and Moeneeb Josephs, the goalkeepers, should be replaced by Arthur Bartman and Senzo Meyiwa. “The fans have spoken,” the match announcer exclaimed as the ’keepers made their way out of the pitch minutes into the second half. Yet the very fans who ostensibly had “spoken” seemed puzzled at the substitutions, and the majority actually booed the decision.

This told a story of a competition founded on deception, for in reality even a supporter who had spent an entire evening imbibing on the brew which sponsors this match would not have made such a bizarre substitution.

Most disheartening of all was an attempt by both coaches, Stuart Baxter and Augusto Palacios, to plead ignorance on the substitutions. “We were as surprised as you were when we were told that both ’keepers had to come off,” Baxter, the Chiefs coach, said in a post-match press conference. “There was certainly no contact between the coaches.”

Pirates’ Palacios furiously shook his head in denying the subs had been pre-planned. But not even a five-year-old would have been fooled.

The fact remains that, in spite of casting votes and being made to feel important, the fans had very little to do with wholesale changes made to both teams in the second half. In all, 14 substitutions were made, some injury enforced, but most as a consequence of both coaches having an eye on real competition beginning this week.

Pirates start the defence of their Top Eight trophy – expected to still be sponsored by MTN – with a date against Bloemfontein Celtic on Friday, while Chiefs travel to Mam-elodi Sundowns on Sunday.

Both Palacios and Baxter needed to give some of their players a run, including the ’keepers, and surely could not risk injuries in a match as pointless as Saturday’s.

There’s no doubting that it was adequate preparation, however, not least for Pirates, who go into the new season with genuine bragging rights as they have three trophies to defend. For Chiefs, Saturday’s lapse deep into stoppage time, and the total meltdown in the penalty shoot-out, will have showed Baxter that a lot of hard work lies ahead. – The Star

For more details go to http://www.iol.co.za

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Sponsors leave PSL in crisis

The Premier Soccer League face a sponsorship crisis with all four of their major backers, including banking giants Absa, yet to renew contracts for the new season that kicks off next week.

This should explain why the league have still not released the fixtures for the 2012/13 campaign.

Absa, who have been the title sponsors of the Premiership for the past five years, confirmed their contract with the PSL lapses on Tuesday but could not give a definitive answer when asked if it would be renewed.

“Absa have a robust and strict process of governance regarding the assessment of sponsorships. The current contract (with the PSL) expires on the July 31, 2012. Updates will be provided in due course,” the bank said in a statement, but did not comment further.

For more details go to http://www.iol.co.za

6 thoughts on “SPORT

  1. good morning

    jst want to check with you ,don’t u knw how is the taung local foot ball operate , can you please help me to find the general procedure and their mission and vission statement

    i know you can do your best to share the information , i did try to check web site bt unable to get what i want, and if is possible you may foward (MEC) chair person or sec contact details
    my pleasure

    Like

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