We all felt it. That feeling that stirred somewhere deep within as Bafana Bafana took to the field exactly one month ago to sing the national anthem at the start of the football World Cup. We choked back the tears and we felt it.
Over the last month, we have all felt “it” many times during the tournament and it has become clear that we have more than exceeded the world’s expectations.
Now everyone wants to keep “it” and to turn “it” into the new national project. The common refrain is: “What are we going to do to keep ‘it’ alive after the World Cup?”
It is a very good question which deserves a serious answer. Read More…
THERE are loud calls for the introduction of technology to prevent the refereeing mistakes which have plagued the World Cup.
Perhaps the worst mistake was made by referee Jorge Larrionda, who failed to award England a goal after the ball clearly crossed the line after a shot by Frank Lampard.
A close second was the failure of a linesman to notice that Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez was several yards off side when he scored against Mexico.
These two decisions may or may not have affected the outcome of these two games, but the point is that a grave injustice was done during a critical game.
Critics point to rugby and cricket as examples of games where certainty has been introduced to crucial decisions by the use of video refereeing.
But, unlike football, these games can be suspended while decisions are made. Football is different. A disputed disallowed goal might be followed by a kick upfield by an alert keeper, leading to a goal for the other side.
By the time the footage shows that the disputed goal should have been allowed, the referee may already have awarded the other goal. Would the second goal then be cancelled? Football cannot allow for a delay while a decision is mulled.
What is needed is technology which can immediately and with certainty show whether or not the ball has crossed the line, perhaps with a red and green light that the referee can see in real time.
Until this is possible and practical to roll out on a large scale, we must live with human error.
Here it is, the nearly final squad (the last 23 are to be named on June 1) for SA’s World Cup challenge. (Okay, it’s not quite the final squad as we still don’t know who will be the 30th player) I think we are being seriously underrated if you look at the talent we can field. My starting 11 is in bold – Whoooohooooo!
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Shu-Aib Walters (Maritzburg United), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld)
Defenders: Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Mdledle (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth), Bryce Moon (PAOK), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates)
Midfielders: Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns), Franklin Cale (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham), Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Steven Pienaar (Everton), MacBeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan)
Strikers: Benni McCarthy (West Ham), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvethe (Moroka Swallows), Bernard Parker (FC Twente).
I stand before you this evening, 20 years since President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela walked out of prison.
We have chosen this as the day to call this Joint Sitting of Parliament to deliver the State of the Nation Address, to celebrate a watershed moment that changed our country.
The release of Madiba was brought about by the resolute struggles of the South African people.
You will recall that the masses of this country, in their different formations, responded with determination to the call to make the country ungovernable and apartheid unworkable.
We are celebrating this day with former political prisoners who we have specially invited to join us.
We welcome in particular those who have travelled from abroad to be here, Helene Pastoors, Michael Dingake from Botswana, Mr Andimba Toivo ya Toivo of SWAPO in Namibia.
We are pleased to be joined by members of the legal team in the Rivonia Treason trial – Lord Joel Joffe, who is now based in London and Judge Arthur Chaskalson.
We also remember and pay tribute to Mr Harry Schwarz, who sadly passed away last week.
He was amongst other things, a member of the Rivonia defence team.
We extend our gratitude to our friends and comrades in the international community, for fighting side by side with us to achieve freedom.
We extend a special welcome to the Mandela family. Read More…
2010 is here and it is going to be a fantastic year for South Africa. We will host a very successful World Cup and we will believe that we are a winning nation that is taking its rightful place on the world stage.
Zuma’s used his New Year’s message to call on the nation to communicate only “positive messages“. His words were: “The year 2010 must be the year in which for the first time, we all communicate positive messages about our country to the world – the successes and possibilities. We have to put the culture of negativity behind us.”
Nice. But unfortunately, we have problems, very serious ones that must be aired. I’m sure the world – that part of it which we admire at any rate – would rather see a country where criticism is encouraged and tolerated than one which bursts at the seams with false admiration for itself. Read More…
2010 football World Cup organising committee head, Danny Jordaan has promised the to deliver the best tournament at a ceremony to raise the flags of the 32 nations that have qualified.
He is right to make this assertion and it is a wish that all of us have a duty to help turn into reality.
Jordaan and his team have done a fantastic job. They have prepared stadiums, several of them now among the top football venues in the world when it comes to design and high-tech facilities.
There can be no question that South Africa will be more than ready to host the tournament although questions still remain about our capacity to transport fans to and from venues.
The story, as Jordaan put it, has changed.
“The story now moves to the teams in the finals, the players, coaches and most importantly, the fans. It is the supporters who
will be arriving here in their hundreds of thousands to support their countries and we will make sure we make them feel at home.”
He is right. The intensity of the controversy over Thierry Henry’s hand-ball goal which put France into the final over Ireland gives you a good idea of how much is at stake.
The fact is that the world’s most entertaining football teams have all qualified with the possible exception of Egypt.
Africa will nonetheless be represented by six powerful footballing nations – Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Algeria and South Africa.
The prospect of an African team going all the way has never been this strong.
South Africans must show the world that we stand behind Africa and its fantastic stars.
We must be hospitable, kind, helpful and tolerant. And we must wear our African colours with pride.