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Roberto Firmino
Firmino should be fit for Champions league final
28 May 2019, 1:33 PM

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has said Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino should be fit to face Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday’s Champions League final in Madrid. Firmino missed Liverpool’s memorable semi-final win over Barcelona and the final game of the Premier League season against Wolverhampton Wanderers with a muscle strain but he has responded well to his return to training said Klopp.

“Bobby was part of training last week then we took him out and will be in training from tomorrow again. From what we saw so far he looked good. He will be fine, I’m sure,” the German told a news conference on Tuesday.

Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum said Firmino was crucial to Liverpool’s way of playing.

“Really important, he sets the pressing from the front. We try to follow him. When we have the ball he is like an extra midfielder so we try and follow him in both ways. He is also an extra defender,” Wijnaldum said.

The 28-year-old stepped into the Firmino role during the second half of Liverpool’s stunning 4-0 win over Barcelona, scoring twice. While he would be willing to take on that duty again, he said he was more comfortable in his usual central midfield position.

“I prefer to play in the midfield but if the manager needs me I will play anywhere. That is a really difficult position to play. I think Divock (Origi) or (Daniel) Sturridge is a better option but if the manager needs me,” he said.

Guinea midfielder Naby Keita is recovering well from his thigh injury but Klopp said he had no chance to be involved.

Liverpool return to the final following their defeat to Real Madrid in last year’s showpiece in Kiev. Klopp said they were fired up for the occasion but played down talk of them having more big-game experience than Spurs.

“We are all very excited about having a chance again. We are probably the more experienced, but it doesn’t really make a difference. It’s about using the things that brought you to the final. So far we have controlled our emotions in a really good way,” he said.

ANC in Western Cape being wrecked by in-house fighting: Rasool
26 May 2019, 9:19 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) former election head in the Western Cape, Ebrahim Rasool, says the party is being wrecked by in-fighting between two factions. There’s also disagreement over a recent one million rand donation made by businessman Iqbal Surve and confusion about who is the legitimate party spokesperson in the province.

ANC member Lionel Adendorf insists he is the official spokesperson while another member Dennis Cruywagen says the party does not recognise Adendorf. Rasool says these problems must be rooted out in order for the ANC to progress in the Western Cape.

“I fear that it may be a fight between those who want the ANC to be unequivocally on a renewal path and those who may have tied up their fortunes with people who can unfortunately be perceived as the detractors of President Cyril Ramaphosa nationally. So maybe, I think if the ANC is going to renew it has to sort out precisely those type of things,” says Rasool.

Thabo Senong
Amajita suffer heavy loss in World Cup opener
26 May 2019, 9:17 PM

A ten men South African Under 20 squad, suffered a 5-2 loss at the hands of Argentina in their opening 2019 FIFA Under 20 World Cup match played at the Tychy Stadium on Saturday night. The loss has dealt a heavy blow to coach Thabo Senong’s lads who still need to face Portugal and the Korean Republic in Group F.

The stage was too big for South Africa who were making their debut in the World Cup.  Argentina have tasted success down the years winning the World Cup six times. Against minnows South Africa, the South Americans had an opportunity to win maximum points and they did that with a well taken corner kick.

Amajita leveled matters through Keenan Philips after he connected a well taken set piece. South Africa were dealt a heavy blow in the second half after a foul in the box and had to go through the Video Assistant Referee, VAR, which proved it was a penalty.

The goal completely shifted Amajita’s focus and as if that was not enough, Philips was yellow carded for rough play but after his case was referred to VAR, he got his marching orders.

From there on it was one way traffic as Argentina scored three more goals. South Africa tried to catch the Argentinians with a counter attack. Amajita tried to use striker Lyle Foster as their danger man but he was out numbered.

South Africa’s next match will be against the Korean Republic on Tuesday.

Hashim Amla batting
Proteas World Cup warm up match abandoned
26 May 2019, 9:00 PM

The South African national cricket team’s ICC World Cup warm-up match against the West Indies in Bristol was abandoned due to inclement weather. The Proteas’ had scored 95 runs for no loss when play was abandoned with Hashim Amla unbeaten on 51 and Quinton De Kock 37 not out.

The West Indies had won the toss and elected to field. The Proteas’ opening partnership of Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock scored sixty runs before play was halted due to inclement weather.

The match was reduced to 31 overs a side when play resumed after more than three hours. Amla and De Kock added 35 runs to take the Proteas total to 95 before play was abandoned following another rain interruption.

James Mathews
Struggle veteran and poet Matthews turns 90
26 May 2019, 8:50 PM

Struggle veteran and well-known writer and poet James Matthews turns 90 this week. He’s been honoured at an event at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.

A lot of Matthews’ work had been banned by the apartheid government.

Matthews was born in the historic Bo-Kaap in 1929. Throughout his adult life he was prominent in the fight for freedom. He used his writing and poetry to oppose apartheid. For this, his books were banned and he was refused permission to travel abroad for 13 years.

The Matthews family is happy to be celebrating their father’s 90th birthday with friends.

“There have been many upheavals. We as the family know the sacrifice that he made. We know the values he strived for. We know what he taught us so for us as family we just want to say thank you and we are happy to celebrate his life with friends and family and the recognition of what he’s done in his life,” says  his daughter Terry Grove.

As for the birthday boy, he says it’s unfortunate that he can’t write anymore due to ill health but he’s still committed to serving his community.

“I don’t walk around being an icon or either all these things should go into your head. With me three things are important and that is humility, intergrity and compassion. If you can live up to those things then I would serve a purpose not only for me but those around me,” says Matthews.

A 2017 recipient of the Arts and Culture Trust Lifetime Achievement Award in Literature,  Matthews has produced several books of poetry and a collection of short stories. He also holds honorary doctorates from the University of the Western Cape and Rhodes University.

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