What’s in City Press Sport: Safa cracks the whip; Soweto Derby on repeat; Can TTM rise above? | Citypress

Here's what you can expect in today's Sport section:

2021-01-24 08:00:00 AM

In City Press Sport: Safa cracks whip on bungling referees | Can TTM rise above their problems? | TimSpirit: Brighton must take Tau jibes on the chin | SideEntry: Roux – what if his name were Thabang Moroe? | Soweto Derby on repeat | All about Phillips

Here's what you can expect in today's Sport section:

“We call on South Africans to stop this trend of directly engaging Brighton players and accusing them of not liking [Percy] Tau, and even tweeting his club such absurdity.”This was a plea from Tau’s club, Brighton & Hove Albion, earlier this week after a barrage of messages flooded their social media platforms from irate South Africans.

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The unusual turn of events was triggered by a general feeling that Tau was short-changed by his team-mates ... Just remember, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, so take the trolling on the chin and move on, opines Timothy Molobi.Hanging Judge: Refs can’t enforce Covid restrictions

When football was allowed to restart last year, albeit behind closed doors, it was done with the understanding that the participants would adhere to the Covid-19 restrictions as laid down by governments.This meant that some kind of “social distancing” would be applied, along with protocols on coughing and sneezing, for instance, which people, regardless of their standing in the community or sporting world, would observe and comply with. headtopics.com

Is that happening? Absolutely not. One only has to watch the games in some countries to see that the “rules” are not only being flouted, but are openly disregarded, writes Errol Sweeney.Side Entry: Roux’s sticky Stellies situation – what if his name were Thabang Moroe?

What with Covid-19 having turned sport into a real-life version of the reality TV show Survivor, SA Rugby – like all other sports governing bodies – can safely be said to have enough on its plate.As things stand, SA Rugby is crossing fingers that the Currie Cup will conclude without further Covid-19 interruptions; frantically looking for a competition for the Pro14-evicted Cheetahs to play in; hoping to find a way to solve the riddle of no schools, amateur or women’s rugby since last year; praying that the Rainbow Cup as well as the money-spinning British and Irish Lions tour go ahead; and signing the proposed equity deal with CVC Capital Partners.

The elephant in the room is that CEO Jurie Roux, the man charged with keeping all the above balls in the air, has a cloud of his own hanging over his head, write Simnikiwe XabanisaSTORIESSafa cracks the whip on bungling refereesSafa has slapped a 24-week ban on a match official following a string of poor performances. Another referee will be missing in action after receiving a similar sanction. Also, with a number of match officials having tested positive for Covid-19 and others continuing to make blunders, Safa could be left with a small pool to choose from.

How Chiefs and Pirates compare ahead of Soweto Derby IIIAmid a Fifa ban preventing Kaizer Chiefs from registering new players, coach Gavin Hunt was forced to turn to the club’s Diski Challenge squad for reinforcements, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. headtopics.com

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In contrast, Chiefs’ rivals Orlando Pirates seem to have abandoned this tradition by relying mostly on foreign and more experienced players recently. But the Amakhosi youngsters seem to have come of age, if the team’s recent change of fortune is anything to go by. The improvement in form comes just in time for another Soweto derby.

Soweto Derby on repeatDespite the 2020/21 season not yet reaching the halfway mark, next Saturday’s Soweto derby between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will be the third time this season that the two township rivals collide in an official fixture.The latest meeting is set to make this the third time in a decade that the two behemoths may end up meeting in four or more official games in a single season. We look at the previous meetings.

Swallows’ fighting spirit rattles SundownsThe unbelievable story of Swallows’ return to the top division of South African football gets better with every match.And based on Saturday’s performance, the Dube Birds removed all doubts about their Premiership ambitions after holding their own in the 1-1 draw against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Can TTM rise above their problems?Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) have provided South African football with a case study, albeit a very expensive one, of what not to do after buying a status in the premiership.Almost from day one, the club from Venda has been mired in controversy, and they could sink even deeper into the hole in which they find themselves after their clash with SuperSport United on Sunday. headtopics.com

Phillips is here to make the most of his chancesAs much as Covid-19 has dealt the world a devastating blow, the pandemic has also created unexpected opportunities for some people.Young SuperSport United defender Keenan Phillips is among those who benefited from the dire situation, after his dream of playing in the elite league came true sooner than expected.

FA Cup: Liverpool under pressureLast Sunday, Liverpool and Manchester United played to a goalless draw in a top-of-table clash in the Premier League. Seven days later, the two clubs meet again in Manchester in the FA Cup fourth round. Few will argue with the fact that the North West Derby is one of the highlights on the English football calendar and having it as part of the FA Cup is the cherry on top.

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Proteas look to hopeful Du Plessis for directionIf any of the younger South African batsmen are hoping that former captain and senior pro Faf du Plessis will point the way with his performances in the two-test series beginning on Tuesday against Pakistan, they might have to lower their expectations somewhat.

With the big talking point being the fact that it’s the first time the Proteas are playing in Pakistan since 2007, not only was that tour a little ahead of Du Plessis’ time, he also hasn’t always done well against the side from the subcontinent.Sharks blast Province out of the water to reach final

The Sharks joined the Bulls in the inaugural Carling Black Label Currie Cup final, courtesy of a 19-9 semifinal win against Western Province on Saturday night.In what was the last game played at an empty Newlands Stadium before Western Province move to Cape Town Stadium, the Sharks took the low road to claim their place in the final at Loftus Versfeld – so low was the quality of the match.

How many of Bulls’ overseas signings have actually worked?With the Sharks seemingly looking to wrest back the title of the best rugby brand in South Africa with their recent announcements on the commercial front, it won’t be long before they’re also expected to do what the Bulls have been doing and go on a shopping spree.

As well as the Bulls have done, winning Super Rugby Unlocked and making it to the Currie Cup play-offs, one has to ask how influential director of rugby Jake White’s returnees from Europe were in those campaigns, especially with another expat coming home in the form of Marcell Coetzee. Simnikiwe Xabanisa assesses the five overseas-based Bulls players signed.

SA athletics events still locked downAthletics SA (ASA) president Aleck Skhosana has defended the federation’s stance on its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the decision this week to suspend activities for two weeks.While football, rugby and cricket were able to resume their programmes after government gave professional and non-professional sports the green light to play, ASA has yet to stage any of its track and field events since the outbreak of the virus in the country in March.

This has triggered criticism from some athletes and coaches about ASA’s perceived lack of planning for the resumption of their sporting activities. Read more: City Press »

JUST IN: Presidency confirms arrival of J&J vaccines at OR Tambo this evening

SA is expected to receive its first batch of the much-anticipated J&J vaccine this evening at the OR Tambo International Airport. #VaccineForSA #VaccineRolloutSA

Jelly Chavani must be among those referees, Satan