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FIFA’s African football takeover plan set for court challenge
22 July 2019, 9:07 PM

FIFA’s plan to take over the running of African football is set to face a possible roadblock with an executive committee member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), saying he will challenge the decision in court.

Hasan Bility, who is from Liberia and a CAF executive committee member for last two years, said he will ask the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport to declare invalid the agreement by which FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura will be sent on a secondment to overhaul the African governing body.

Bility said he also wants to ask the court to compel CAF to start a forensic audit of its finances, which he said the executive committee had previously agreed to but CAF president Ahmad Ahmad then stalled.

CAF is in crisis following corruption allegations against Ahmad which he has denied.

Ahmad was reported in March to FIFA’s ethics committee for alleged corruption and harassment by CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy. Fahmy was then fired.

Ahmad was detained in June by French police in Paris where he was questioned over a sportswear deal between CAF and a French company in which the African body is said to have paid exorbitant prices for equipment it could have got much cheaper directly from the manufacturers.

In a statement released to the media on Monday, former Liberian Football Association president Bility said Ahmad must resign and the proposed FIFA takeover be cancelled.

“In an attempt to salvage CAF from imminent implosion and irreversible reputational damage, FIFA proposed a poorly conceptualised and worse executed agreement,” Bility said.

“Logically, and in a sane world, the acquiescence by the CAF leadership that they have been unable to manage their own affairs ought to have been followed by quick resignation of its top leaders.

“It is clear to me and many others that the agreement as currently structured has the sole purpose of shielding and cleansing CAF President Ahmad from the crimes he has committed – financial impropriety, sexual harassment and nepotism.”

FIFA has confirmed there is an ethics investigation into Ahmad, although he was yet to be sanctioned.

Ahmad has not responded to Reuters’ requests for comment on the specific allegations against him.

Bility also claimed FIFA President Gianni Infantino has seized on the opportunity to get rid of his secretary-general.

“Infantino has thus seized this opportunity to offer Fatma a ‘golden parachute’ into a confederation job to pave the way for her eventual replacement at the helm of FIFA,” he said.

FIFA on Monday told Reuters it had no further comment to add to last week’s release of an 11-point road map to help African football.

Infantino claimed last week that the unprecedented move to step in and administer African football would “significantly improve” the sport in the continent.

‘Alfred Phiri games good platform for planned Women’s League’
22 July 2019, 8:42 PM

First Touch Academy coach John Hlako says the Maimane Alfred Phiri Games were a good platform for his players to test themselves ahead of the upcoming national women’s football league.

The Limpopo side was crowned this year’s winners in the Ladies section of the tournament in Alexander on Sunday after defeating TUT ladies 2-1 in the final.

For their efforts, the Academy won a trophy, gold medals and R85 000.

Hlako says his team is not too far from their peers.

The Academy are Limpopo’s representative at the upcoming national league, and Hlako believes they have an edge over their opponents because of their non participation in the games.

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis was present at the final and Hlako says most of his players made a good impression on the coach.

The Academy are a regular contributor in the senior team with the likes of Noko Matlou and Lebogang Ramalepe in their books.

Hlako could not reveal the names of the girls that impressed Desiree Ellis on Sunday.

– Report by Lethabo Kganyago

Proteas’ Karla Pretorius wins a big award
22 July 2019, 8:40 PM

Despite the SPAR Proteas falling short of a podium finish at the 2019 Netball World Cup (NWC) in Liverpool on Sunday, they were given some consolation with the news that their wing defence Karla Pretorius was named Player of the Tournament.

Pretorius was honoured during the medal ceremony in front of a packed M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

The last South African to win the same award was Erin Burger in the 2011 NWC in Singapore.

Ironically Burger was the touring roommate of Pretorius in 2011. She says Burger inspired her.

Team sponsors SPAR announced that they would reward the team with R1.2 million in appreciation for their sterling effort at the World Cup. – Report by Vincent Sitsula

Third division Austrian club signs Modise
22 July 2019, 7:17 PM

A relatively unknown South African striker is beginning to make waves in Austria.

Having scored eight goals in 10 games for 4th division side ASV 13 earlier this year, Elvin Kanyerere Modise has now moved up a tier, and has been snapped up by third division Austrian side ATSV Stadi-Paura.

Modise says he is very happy to get this opportunity and is looking forward to test himself at a higher level.

Modise had a short spell in Austria four years ago, but had to come home to South Africa. He returned earlier this year and seized his opportunity in the fourth division.

Prior to this move, the 25-year-old’s highest level of football was with The Magic in the ABC Motsepe League five years ago.

For most of his career though he played Local Football Association (LFA) football for Camps Bay Football Club.

But despite not breaking through in South Africa, Modise had the determination to believe he could make it in Europe and says it is something he has always dreamed about.

Modise has always scored goals wherever he has played, but he says his biggest strength has always been his pace.

Modise says he hopes to help Stadi-Paura to a top-five finish, and at the same time would like to score at least 12 goals for the season. – Report by Rob Delport

Cape Town City’s Groeneveld looks forward to PSL start
22 July 2019, 4:54 PM

Cape Town City’s junior international Keith Groeneveld is excited to get his career going in South Africa.

While he joined City at the end of last season, Groeneveld, who signed from Belgian giants Standard Liege, is technically a new signing at the club and is looking forward to playing his first professional game in South Africa.

Groeneveld left South Africa when he was just four years old, and also represented Belgium at junior level.

The 20 year old started his career at Royal Antwerp and had trials at Manchester United, Arsenal and Schalke 04 before signing for Liege. He says he’s been impressed with the standard of football at City so far.

The Upington-born youngster, who is also fluent in French, says he has felt at home at City, especially, with such an eclectic mix of players.

Comfortable at both centre back and as a defensive midfielder, Groeneveld is also enjoying working with Benni McCarthy, who he says is an inspirational leader. – Report by Rob Delport

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