16.6.10

Uruguay mauls Bafana Bafana 3:0

South Africa's World Cup dream is hanging by a thread after Uruguay stunned Bafana Bafana by winning 3-0 and taking a firm grip on Group A.

Diego Forlan gave the South American side a first half lead after his shot deflected off Aaron Mokoena and into the net.

South Africa pushed forward in the second half but their hopes were dashed when Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was brought down in the penalty area by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, who was sent off.

Forlan converted the resulting penalty past substitute 'keeper Moeneeb Josephs to kill the hosts off and send many South Africa fans heading for the exits.

Alvaro Pereira converted a late third as South Africa desperately tried to salvage something from the game.

Uruguay go top of Group A with four points from their two games. South Africa have a solitary point after two games, and must beat France in their final game to have any hope of progressing to the knock out stages.

France play Mexico on Thursday night in Polokwane. South Africa's final game is against France on Tuesday.


Credit: CNN

11.6.10

Kofi Annan: A source of pride for Africa-World Cup 2010

With the global focus on South Africa, former United Nations secretary-general, and Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, Kofi Annan has teamed up with Côte d'Ivoire striker Didier Drogba to produce a thought-provoking alternative guide to the FIFA World Cup™, 'Scoring for Africa', looking beyond each country's football prospects to how they compare on bigger issues such as life expectancy and carbon emissions.
Here Mr Annan tells FIFA.com of the significance of the guide – and explains why this month's football showpiece can leave a legacy for Africa, describing it as "a tremendous opportunity for the continent as a whole".

‘Scoring for Africa: The Alternative Guide to the World Cup’ can be viewed by clicking on the link to the right.

FIFA.com: The Africa Progress Panel has published 'Scoring for Africa – An Alternative Guide to the World Cup'. What is its purpose?

Kofi Annan: The whole idea was to introduce a development perspective, highlighting some of the issues which unite and divide countries represented on the field. We teamed up with Didier Drogba, the African Player of the Year who is also a UN goodwill ambassador, on this initiative.
The guide provides economic, social and political rankings of the competing countries and has a simple but powerful message. What we are basically saying is that players and fans all understand the importance of fair play and an impartial referee, and by extension we are saying we believe this understanding should not only be limited to the way countries play, run and score against each other but also the way they do business and politics.

As an African, what does it mean to see Africa hosting the FIFA World Cup?
It is wonderful and in some way shows how far the continent has come. You may recall that 50 years ago this year, 17 African countries became independent. They are celebrating their golden anniversary so for it to coincide with the World Cup organised on the African continent for the first time is really a source of pride.

Can the FIFA World Cup leave a legacy in South Africa and even across the entire continent?
The Cup really puts the spotlight on South Africa, which has a chance to shine. I believe it is also a tremendous opportunity for the continent as a whole to show how it has changed for the better and has some positive things to show.
Obviously South Africa has really built up a credible infrastructure which will be used for the future. But I think other African countries will gain from the exposure and I hope in time it will help them with tourism and economic and social development.

Have you discussed the significance of this African FIFA World Cup with the FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter?
I know that Sepp Blatter shares my view that the World Cup being organised in Africa will be a great opportunity to expand economic, social and even political co-operation on the continent. It will also enhance sporting facilities for young people, with pitches being set up for them. I hope this will continue long afterwards and also help them pick up some of the lessons one learns from games – play according to the rules and accept fair play.

You once said that the FIFA World Cup had a greater reach than the UN – what did you mean?
The point I made is that FIFA as an organisation appears much more universal. The UN has 192 member states, FIFA has 209. And once every four years FIFA manages to get the whole globe's attention.
People follow the game fanatically and they know where their team stands. I wish I could get the same concentration elsewhere – I would get governments to compete on human rights, on democracy, on the fight against corruption and for everyone to know how their countries are doing in these areas. By producing 'Scoring for Africa' we are trying to get people to focus beyond the ball on the other issues.

Some people argue the money spent by South Africa on the FIFA World Cup could have been better spent elsewhere. How do you view this argument?
The benefits and the spirit of the World Cup should not be reduced to financial calculations. If we are to measure the financial benefits, many could take some time to become evident. I've talked about the benefits for South Africa and the continent in terms of infrastructure. We are a continent that has a serious infrastructure deficit.
If we had our roads, rails and energy properly organised, Africa would be doing much, much better in trade, not only with ourselves but with the rest of the world. So I think this is a worthwhile investment.
I know there are people in South Africa who are not sure how this will benefit them but if it helps them increase trade and they are able to come together and get to know the other African nations better and co-operate better, it will be worthwhile. When people ask this question it is a bit like saying, 'what would one rugby game make?'.
But we saw the difference a rugby game made for South Africa, bringing the whole nation together – I think on that day they all felt they were indeed a 'Rainbow nation' and I think this is going to be the same for the continent.

Are you a football fan yourself?
Yes, I am a football fan. I love the game and I played it as a young man up to and through my university years. I played on the right wing because I was a sprinter. But now I only sit in the armchair and follow it. I will be going to the Final, hopefully to see an African team play in it.

What are your hopes for your own country, Ghana?
We have a good team but a rather young one. Some of the experienced players are not going to be able to play because of injuries but this is a young team, they have a strong heart and determination and I would not rule them out. I will be rooting for them.

Do you have any predictions about the FIFA World Cup?
Several of the African teams should do well – maybe I am a dreamer but I would love to see one of them in the Final. But there are other strong sides like Italy, Spain, the Brazilians, the Argentinians. England will also have their hopes but I would not be so bold as to predict who will win the Cup.

Finally how important are top footballers as role models?
They have quite an impact on the young and obviously they are constantly in the limelight and the way they comport themselves, the way they respect the rules, their team-mates and opponents all sends a message to the young ones.
Soccer is a wonderful game. It is a team game, it allows room for individual brilliance but the individual must never think he or she is bigger than the team and that is a lesson for life.

Eriksson optimistic over Drogba recovery

Côte d'Ivoire skipper Didier Drogba could be fit to play in his team's opening FIFA World Cup™ clash against Portugal, coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said Friday.

The Chelsea striker, who underwent surgery on his broken right arm six days ago, trained with his teammates but with a sling on his damaged arm. "He's doing well. If the match with Portugal was today or Saturday, he wouldn't be able to play. But as the game is in a few days' time (Tuesday), he could be in the team and play," said Eriksson. "He is feeling better and better each day."

In training, Drogba practised on his own to avoid aggravating the injury. He broke his arm in a friendly match against Japan in Switzerland on June 4.

France, Uruguay draw a blank

An opportunity to seize the initiative in Group A was missed at Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium as France and ten-man Uruguay served up a drab goalless draw.


The earlier stalemate between South Africa and Mexico had presented their section rivals with the chance to claim top spot, but neither did enough to secure three points in a scrappy encounter in which Nicolas Lodeiro picked up the tournament’s first red card.

France’s difficulties at UEFA EURO 2008 and during FIFA World Cup™ qualifying has enabled them to sneak almost unnoticed into this competition, yet they reminded everyone of their considerable potential with some slick early play. Predictably, Frank Ribery was at the heart of the best of their attacking forays, and only Sidney Govou will know how he failed to convert the Bayern Munich winger’s inviting low cross after eight minutes. Ribery looked to have laid on a certain goal, with Govou inside the six-yard box when the ball arrived, but the Lyon player’s right-foot attempt lacked conviction and the ball trickled wide of the far post.

Les Bleus remained in the ascendancy, and Nicolas Anelka – who endured a frustrating evening – might have done better than head over from an intelligently weighted Yoann Gourcuff cross. The presence of Diego Forlan ensured that Raymond Domenech’s side were never able to rest easy, though, and the Atletico Madrid striker underlined his capabilities on 16 minutes with an effort out of nothing. Stepping inside from the left beyond William Gallas, Forlan unleashed a powerful right-foot drive that was heading for the net before Hugo Lloris got across to make a fine save.

Nonetheless, this was an isolated moment of concern for a French side who remained firmly in control, with Abou Diaby dictating the midfield pace. Gourcuff was also impressing, and with 18 minutes played he forced an alert save from Fernando Muslera with an audacious free-kick attempt on goal, inches from the left touchline.

The game fell into something of a lull as half-time approached, but the tempo picked up again after the break, with Forlan blasting over after sneaking in between Gallas and Bacary Sagna. There was precious little penetration, however, and the growing frustration was summed up 12 minutes after the restart when Jeremy Toulalan tried his luck from all of 35 yards, bringing a comfortable save out of Muslera.

France introduced Thierry Henry in an attempt to re-establish their early superiority, but it was Uruguay who should have snatched victory, with Forlan wasting the best chance of the half, blasting wide from an unmarked position 12 yards from goal. Ultimately, however, La Celeste were happy to hold out for a point after second-half substitute Lodeiro earned a second yellow card for an ugly lunge on Sagna.

Organising Committee expresses its condolences to the Mandela Family

Johannesburg, 11 June 2010 - The 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) is saddened to learn of the death of Zenani Mandela, who was killed in a car accident last night.
Zenani Mandela (13 years old) is the great-grand-daughter of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratic President.

“On behalf of everyone at the Organising Committee, I would like to express my condolences to the Mandela family. Please know that you will all be in our thoughts today,” said OC Chairman Dr Irvin Khoza.

“Last year Zenani did us the honour of bringing the FIFA Confederations Cup trophy out onto the podium at the final at Ellis Park on 28 June. We are saddened to hear of her tragic passing and will remember her fondly,” said OC CEO Dr Danny Jordaan.

ENDS

Court bars CHRAJ from hearing M&J bribery scandal

An Accra Human Rights Court has restrained the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) from continuing with its investigation into the Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal.


The court upheld arguments by lawyers of the six persons who were the subject of the investigations that comments by the Commissioner of CHRAJ on Metro TV on the matter were prejudicial.Justice Emile Short granted the television station an interview on the issue days after opening public hearings - bedeviled by persistent objections - into the allegations that the six persons received


bribes from the UK construction firm to influence the award of contracts to the company.Lawyers of the accused - Dr Sipa Yankey, Messrs Kwame Peprah, Alhaji Baba Kamara, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Brigadier-General Lord Attivor and Dr Ato Quarshie - went to court arguing that the CHRAJ Commissioner had made conclusive pronouncements that amounted to prejudging their clients.They contended Mr Short and the Commission had lost the moral authority to conduct the investigations as they could not be trusted to be fair and impartial in the matter.



The court agreed with the lawyers and ruled that the Commission should excuse itself of the case because the Commissioner’s comments put him in a prejudiced situation.It said other institutions can conduct investigations into the M&J bribery scandal.After the ruling, Nana Ato Dadzie, lawyer for Dr Ato Quarshie, told Joy News’ Sammy Darko that today “is a great day for the law.”



He said his clients’ belief that the Commission was unfair to them had been confirmed by the court in its ruling.Nana Ato Dadzie stated that his clients were willing to submit themselves to any other state agency that chose to conduct further investigations into the allegations.Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana