Keep Dreaming, Keep Believing: Rugby skipper Kolisi tells South African children

Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe, who scored the Springboks’ tries in Saturday’s final against England, were among the first group of players to land at OR Tambo Airport.

King Kolisi arrives



South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winning captain Siya Kolisi urged underprivileged children in the country to “keep dreaming and keep believing” as he carried the Webb Ellis trophy through thousands of fans on the team’s return home on Tuesday.



Kolisi led the Springboks to victory in Japan when they beat England 32-12 in the final in Yokohama on Saturday, a third title for the country after 1995 and 2007, and the first under a black captain.



His rags-to-riches tale has been inspirational for many, and the raucous welcome the side received showcased the full range of the Rainbow Nation as fans from all walks of life spent hours waiting for a glimpse of the players as they emerged in groups from different flights.



The biggest cheer was reserved for Kolisi, who grew up in an impoverished township and has written his name not only into rugby folklore but also into the history of South Africa as a beacon of hope for those who face a bleak future.



“The kids must keep dreaming and keep believing,” he told reporters. “Anything can be overcome. When I was young, I was just focused on going to training each day, preparing myself for the opportunity just in case it ever came.



“I am proof it can be done. We don’t want it to be so tough for anybody else, we want to make it easier in the future.”



Kolisi said the players felt the support from back home during their time in Japan, with a TV screen in their hotel constantly replaying videos from fans, or images of ordinary South Africans celebrating their victories.



First batch arrives



Members of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup-winning team arrived home on Tuesday and thousands greeted them with a huge cheer at Johannesburg’s international airport.



Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe, who scored the Springboks’ tries in Saturday’s final against England, were among the first group of players to land at OR Tambo Airport.



As he emerged into view in the arrivals hall, Mapimpi held his hands up and clasped them together as the crowd roared. Kolbe was recording the scenes on his cellphone.



Teammate Damien de Allende, with his gold medal draped round his neck, pumped his arms in the air in front of the fans wearing Springboks jerseys who packed the hall. Duane Vermeulen, the player of the match in the final, dished out high fives to fans.



People were also crammed together on the balconies overlooking the arrivals area — there was no room to move anywhere — and a giant South African flag hung on one wall. The smiling players had to be shepherded through the crowd by a police escort.



Mapimpi’s inspirational story



Mapimpi, like Kolisi, provided one of the heartwarming stories for the South Africa team. He grew up poor, went to an unfashionable school, and was overlooked for all of South Africa’s youth teams and only made his international debut last year at the age of 27.



He scored six tries at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, the second-highest number at the tournament, including South Africa’s first in a final.



“It’s amazing for me. I’m proud of myself, I’m proud of the team, I’m proud of the South African people, I’m proud of my fans, I’m proud of my family,” Mapimpi said. “I don’t have a lot of words. I don’t know what I can say. It’s amazing.”



Flanked by South Africa’s minister of sports at the official arrival news conference, Mapimpi also made the politician gasp — and his teammates chuckle — when he uttered an expletive on live TV while remembering a grueling fitness session in the buildup to the World Cup.



Springboks receive support from stars



He added that the team had also been inspired by messages from tennis great Roger Federer, whose mother was born in South Africa, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.



“I am a huge Federer fan, so when he sent the message it was special. Tom Brady as well, that was amazing for us as a team.”



What next



The Boks’ next encounter will be against an as yet unnamed opponent in the 2020 June International window, and Kolisi is hopeful that the core of the World Cup-winning side will be kept together.



“We would love to stay together as a team, but that will be down to the coach. A lot of us have committed to staying in South Africa for that,” Kolisi said.



Inspired by the story of Kolisi, who rose from a poor township to lift rugby’s biggest prize, the Springboks of 2019 have been compared to the team of 1995, which won South Africa’s first World Cup at home in front of Nelson Mandela nearly a quarter of a century ago. South Africa also won the World Cup in France in 2007.



Kolisi’s team has returned home to countrywide celebrations and will take the World Cup on a five-day tour of the nation starting on Thursday.



Agencies

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DRC gets first woman to head large football club [Football Planet]

Bestine Kazadi is taking over leadership of a team that has been on tabs with the successes of TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi

The game is slowly but surely getting dominated by women… In the Democratic Republic of Congo, one woman has just moved to manage one of the country’s large football clubs – AS Vita in Kinshasa.

Bestine Kazadi is taking over leadership of a team that has been on tabs with the successes of TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi. Her predecessor was president for 13 years and she is the first woman at the top of the club since it was created in 1935.

This and other highlights including the additional time for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations hosts as the tournament is pushed to January 2022 to their relief, plus highlights from around Europe to see how African players are performing in Serie A, Premier League, and La Liga

Ex-marathon runner, Kenya's Kipsang banned for doping

Kipsang won bronze in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympic. He broke the world record the following year in Berlin.

Kenya’s world record holder Wilson Kipsang has been slapped with a four year ban from competitions after missing series of doping tests.

A ruling published by the Athletics Integrity Unit on Friday states that the ex-marathon runner was found to have missed three tests.

He failed to provide timely information on his whereabouts on a fourth occasion, in 2018 and 2019.

Kipsang won bronze in the marathon at the 2012 London Olympic. He broke the world record the following year in Berlin.

The athlete held the record until Dennis Kimetto bettered his time the year after. Kipsang has won the New York and Tokyo Marathons and won the London Marathon twice.

AP

AFCON moved to 2022, delayed CHAN slated for Jan. 2021

AFCON to be played in 2022, CHAN 2020 slated for January 2021.

The Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, has announced the postponement of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON to January 2022 citing the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament had been scheduled to take place between January and February next year. The football governing body, however decided that the local version of the AFCON, the Championship of African Nations, CHAN, will take place in January 2021.

It had originally been slated to be played in April this year. Both competitions will be hosted by Cameroon.

In a March 2020 announcement suspending the 2020 CHAN, CAF Organizing after a meeting in Cameroon cited amongst others, the confinement of population in many countries, restrictions imposed on grouping of teams and officials and the closure of borders as well as disruptions in air links between many countries as factors.

At the time, the decision followed the postponement of the AFCON 2021 qualifiers by CAF. The African football governing body had earlier this year decided to maintain the organization of its competitions.

Decisions of CAF Executive Meeting – 30 June 2020

The committee decided as follows;

Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021

After consultation with stakeholders and taking into consideration the current global situation, the tournament has been rescheduled for January 2022. The date for the final tournament and the remaining matches of the qualifiers will be communicated in due course.

Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020

The final tournament has been postponed till January 2021 in Cameroon.

“The CAF Executive Committee is satisfied with t the Cameroonian authorities for their commitment towards the hosting of the two competitions. Cameroon is ready to host either competition and are within schedule,” CAF President Ahmad Ahmad said.

Interclubs 2019/20 season

The Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup, will resume in September with a Final Four (4) format. Semi-Final matches will be played in a single match.

Total CAF Champions League = Venue for Final Four to be decided

Total CAF Confederation Cup = Morocco will host the Final Four

Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2020

Due to challenging conditions, the 2020 edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations has been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the CAF Women’s Champions League will be launched in 2021. The format and other details will be communicated in due course.

Zonal Qualifiers for U-20 & U-17 Africa Cup of Nations

A meeting with the Organising Competitions for Youth Football and the Zonal Unions has been proposed to finalize the arrangements for the zonal qualifiers. Meanwhile, the U-17 AFCON will take place in July 2021.

Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations 2020

Following the withdrawal of Uganda, a new hosting bid will be launched for the organization of the final tournament either in 2020 or 2021.

Headquarters Agreement

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad commended the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt under the leadership of His Excellency Abdel Fattah El Sisi, who appended his signature to the 10-year agreement on 24 June 2020.

With the new agreement, CAF and its officials will benefit from immunities and privileges granted to diplomatic missions in the territory of the Arab Republic of Egypt in accordance with the 1961 Vienna Convention.

CAF Ordinary General Assembly

The 42nd CAF Ordinary General Assembly has been rescheduled for December 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As per the recommendations of the CAF Governance Committee, the Elective General Assembly will be held on 12 March 2021.

CAF Awards 2020

Cancellation of the 2020 edition. Major partners for the event, Pickalbatros Group, has re-affirmed their contractual commitment towards the next two (2) editions.

Financial Support to Member Associations

CAF has allocated an additional USD 16.2 Million to assist Member Associations to mitigate challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each Member Associations will be entitled to USD 300,000.

Appointment of Commercial Director

Confirmation of the appointment of Ali Aissaoui as Commercial Director. Prior to joining CAF, the Moroccan served as Business Development Manager of FC Barcelona.

Update on Transform CAF 2021

There has been giant stride in the execution of Transform CAF 2021 which was launched during the CAF Executive Committee in Doha, Qatar, last February. The CAF Administration will continue with the implementation of the major points towards achieving the targets of the project.

Kickoff! Somalia reopens renovated national stadium in Mogadishu

Somalia for years now honoured international games in Djibouti because of insecurity in the capital.

Somalia’s national stadium in the capital Mogadishu officially reopened today years after it was abandoned due to insecurity. A game was also honoured today after extensive renovations since 2018 when government took control of the facility.

It was adversely affected by the country’s civil war, at a point it was occupied by Al-Shabaab insurgents and later by the African Union’s AMISOM forces deployed to combat the group.

The European Union, Norway and other development partners supported the reconstruction efforts which began after the facility was officially handed over to the government by AMISOM in 2018.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo was accompanied by top government officials for the reopening ceremony as they watched the game, the first in three decades at the venue according to some reports.

Somalia for years now honoured international games in Djibouti because of insecurity in the capital. The stadium was captured from Al Shabaab during an operation to liberate the city in September 2011. AMISOM subsequently used it as a base till the handover.

According to a company contracted to work on grassing the pitch, its constructions works started on the in late January 2020 and were completed on the 10th of April 2020. Domo Sports Grass added that reopening had been hampered by COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the latest national facility to be reopened in Mogadishu. over the weekend, the president also oversaw the reopening of the National Theater, which had also faced a similar fate due to insecurity.

Egyptian giant Zamalek to boycott league [Football Planet]

Uncertainty still lingers in the forthcoming 2021 CAF. The cancellation of FIFA dates in September further complicates the CAF’s 2020 games

Uncertainty still lingers in the forthcoming 2021 CAF. The cancellation of FIFA dates in September further complicates the CAF’s 2020 games.

In Egypt, after issuing several threats, the Zamalek have finally taken action. The frustration of some clubs with the decision to resume the championship takes a dramatic turn. The Cairo-based club has announced that it will not be resuming the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Nigerian international Victor Osimhen who plays for Lille has this Monday been awarded the Marc-Vivien Foé Prize for the Best African player in French Ligue 1. The 21-year-old Super Eagle striker scored a total of 13 goals in French League 1. He succeeds the Ivorian Nicolas Pépé.