Rabada named the best young male cricketer in the world

Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been named Wisden’s Golden Boy of 2018, an award for the best male cricketer in the world aged 23 or under.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has congratulated Rabada on his milestone.

CSA Chief Executive Thabang Moroe said:“This is another well-deserved honour for KG, whose achievements over the last few years have been quite phenomenal. These include becoming the youngest ever player to top the ICC Test bowling rankings earlier this year and becoming the youngest player to take 150 Test wickets.”

Moroe included that Rabada is clearly destined to become one of South Africa’s all-time greats and he fully deserves all the accolades that have come his way.

He added that Wisden is one of the most respected voices of world cricket and being named by them as one of the best cricketers at age 23 or under, is a tremendous achievement.

“It is also highly gratifying that we have two other well deserving cricketers in the top 10 in Aiden Markram and Lungi Ngidi. This speaks volumes for our talent development pipeline and holds promise of a very bright future for our cricket,” Moroe concluded.

Source: Sports24

Third Annual BRICS Games underway

South Africa’s Department of Sports and Recreation is hosting the third annual BRICS games from today, 17 July – 22 July at Wits University in Johannesburg. The BRICS member countries will be competing in 2 key sporting categories, namely Football U17 women, and Volleyball U21 men and women 6-aside teams.

The BRICS Games were established in 2016 and the inaugural tournament was played in Goa, 2016 which saw Brazil finishing as champions while South Africa emerged as runners-up. The games are set to help facilitate sports and cultural exchanges among BRICS nations.

This year’s BRICS games are in commemoration of the centenary of South African Struggle icons Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. The South African women’s football team, Abantwana (U17) will use this as preparation for the U17 women’s World Cup to be held later on this year in Uruguay. During an interview with IOL, Abantwana captain, Simphiwe Dludlu said that they are looking at improving on defence more than anything.

The games serve as an opportunity for the South African team to study Brazil’s U17 as they will also be partaking in the World Cup.

They are an important part of association between BRICS countries. The BRICS Games sideline the upcoming BRICS Media Forum and 10th BRICS summit.

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

France crowned as the 2018 FIFA World Cup champions

The final whistle was blown on the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup. the winner France, runners-up Croatia and third place goes to Belgium. Russia has been congratulated on hosting a safe and successful World Cup, with only one game ending in a goalless draw.

The football tournament saw the whole world come to a standstill and will probably have many football fans going through withdrawal symptoms. In the end, the French were victorious winning their second World Cup and writing the players’ names into history books as legends.

The final match was not without controversy of course, as the first goal came in the form of an own goal from Croatian striker Mandzukic. But the Croatians being the fighters of the tournament, equalized in the 28th minute – only for their hopes and dreams to be shattered by a VAR penalty, which was smoothly buried by French forward Antoine Griezmann.

It seems as though after the penalty, the Croatians had lost their will to fight and went on to concede another two goals, the goals from Pogba and Mbappe sealed it for France, a conciliation goal from Mandzukic making up for his mistake unfortunately was not enough, and in the end the French won (4-2).

Eyes are now fixed on the the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which will not only be the first world cup in the Middle East, but also the first to be played in November to December.

Winners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup: France

Young Player of the Tournament: Kylian Mbappe (France)

Golden Ball Winner: Luka Modrić (Croatia)

Golden Boot Winner: Harry Kane (England)

BRICS Journals Player of the Tournament: N’golo Kante (France)

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

 

 

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Semi-Final’s Review

The shocks of the 2018 FIFA World Cup haven’t stopped, with almost all the favourites knocked out by underestimated competition. The Semi-Finals were no different as most analysists and pundits were expecting Belgium to defeat France, and for England to overcome Croatia.

This World Cup will be remembered as the most unpredictable; many bets have been laid and lost, and those who gambled early on Croatia or France look to be the big winners. The first Semi-Final between Belgium and France was a very tight game, with only one goal from French defender Samuel Umtiti, separating the two teams.

The French goalkeeper and defenders were enough to keep Belgium’s attack quiet, with a standout performance from French midfielder N’golo Kante, who worked tirelessly in preventing Belgium’s creative players Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne from having an impact. Unfortunately the Red Devils could not live up to the high expectations laid on the star name players in the team.

The second semi-final was between England and Croatia. Many English media outlets had underestimated the Croatians, predicting an easy win for the Three Lions. The game seemed like it was in England’s control in the first half, when English winger Kieran Trippier score a wonderful free-kick to put England up one.

But the Blazing Croatians are fighters having come back from one-nil down in their last 2 games, Croatia’s equalizer came from Ivan Perisic in the 68th minute in a moment when the English Defence was caught napping. Croatia’s experienced striker Mandzukic, who has had a quiet world cup so far, woke up in extra time to score the winning goal. Many analysts up until that point were calling for the coach to drop him, but Mandzukic proved why the coach had faith in him.

The final and third place play-off have been decided; it will either be 2018 World Cup winner France or Croatia. Which team will define a generation for their respective countries and be the main subject of football for the next four years? On Sunday the 15 July 2018 at 17:00 we will all find out. Belgium and England have the unfortunate part of playing dress rehearsal, on Saturday 14 July at 16:00 for the final as they battle for third place.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka       

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final’s Review

Known as the World Cup of the underdogs, the final four of the 2018 FIFA World Cup are not the teams that most people predicted. Belgium, France, England and Croatia are awash with Europe’s talent who play for top clubs in top leagues, but still all four were not the favourites for most football fans.

Unless you’re from these countries of course, the Semi-Finals pairing is quite unexpected. It seems all four teams are having a golden generation moment, as they are all surpassing expectation and their predecessors of the previous World Cups. With the exception of France’s 1998 team who won the World Cup for the first time, the last time England won the World Cup was in 1966, and if Belgium and Croatia won it, it would not be the first time either both countries, but also result in new country winning it, become the 9th different country to win the World Cup.

 With the exception of England, none of the teams have had an easy road to the semi-finals. The other 3 teams have had to battle it out. The quarter finals was a battle of technicality and who can best handle the pressure. The first quarter final was a fast and dynamic France VS a ridged and stubborn Uruguay. All eyes were on Uruguayan star man Luis Suárez to carry Uruguay to the semi’s as his main partner Edinson Cavani fell out due to injury.

Unfortunately France had too much resolve, defeating what seemed to be an impenetrable Uruguay Defence (0-2). Belgium the team that will meet France at the semi-finals, also had to find its resolve during the quarters when they faced favourites Neymar and his star-studded Brazil. The match seemed to have brought out the best in the Belgium forwards with Romelu Lukaku, Eden hazard and Kevin De Bruyne have standout appearance helping Belgium to edge out Brazil (1-2).

After Belgium eliminated Brazil they have now assumed the tag of favourites to win the World Cup, but it won’t be easy as they must first go past a dynamic French team. With the legendary French footballer Thierry Henry as the assistant coach of Belgium, perhaps he’ll help them find a way to defeat his countrymen… only time will tell. The second semi-final will be a contest between England and Croatia. Many are expecting England to win this World Cup due the weaker competition they’ve faced.

Their quarter final game with Sweden was just a formality, as the Swedes rolled over with relative ease (0-2). England football fans having even come up with the catchphrase “It’s Coming Home”, being that they invented the modern rules of football. But the Croatians should not be underestimated after battling it out 120 minutes and then penalties against host nation Russia, who, for a moment seemed like homeground advantage could carry them all the way to the finals.

The Croatian team is packed with experienced campaigners. Going up against the unexperienced youthful English team could make for a very difficult game, especially since both teams have won most of their games through set-pieces.

The English Premiere league is the biggest winner of this World Cup with the most represented clubs at the Semi-Finals with 34 players from the top 5 football clubs in England; while Spanish clubs Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have 12 players in the Semi-Finals; 4 players from France specially Paris Saint-Germain Football Club and 3 players from Italian Club Juventus.

Players of the Group Stages: Kevin De Bruyne

Team of the Group Stages: Belgium

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

Images: Mawande Khesws

Russia unstoppable at the FIFA World Cup

Russia has shown up to the World Cup guns blazing, win their first two games. Russia came into the World Cup as the lowest-ranked nation and in dismal form, but two games in they have won against Saudi Arabia 5-0 and a 3-1 victory against Egypt making it the best start of any host side in World Cup history.

Ahead of the World Cup, Russia played seven friendly matches without any win and were ranked 70th in the world by FIFA. Russian National team are practically guaranteed a place in the last 16, barring a series of unlikely high-scoring results, which would be the first time they have reached the knockout stages since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

The next game Russia will play will be against Uruguay on the 25th June 2018 at Cosmos Arena, Samara.

Ntsikelelo Kuse

A budget breakdown of the spending for FIFA World Cup 2018

The Russians have invested billions of dollars to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the event will make FIFA hundreds of millions in profits. The Russian Government had budgeted $11.6 billion on projects for the World Cup which is less than the estimated $15 billion spent by Brazil on the 2014 World Cup. Construction and preparation for the World Cup has cost Russia an estimated $11.8 billion, according to USA Today, with more than 70 percent of the spending coming from public funding.

 

FIFA will top $6 billion for the four-year commercial cycle tied to this World Cup, beating its $5.656 billion target. The World Cup is the main source of FIFA income, FIFA gets its profits from broadcasting revenue, sponsorships and ticket sales. Ahead of the 2018 World Cup FIFA had four deals from Russia, three with Russian State-owned firms; three Chinese sponsors; none from the Americas or Africa and the Middle East.

 

Teams will win portions of the $400 million in total prize money, according to FIFA. The winner will get $38 million and runner-up $28 million, the 16 teams going home after the group phase will each get $8 million. FIFA has budgeted spending $791 million on teams and players for prize money, club compensation, insurance for players injured on national-team duty, and preparation costs for 32 squads. Clubs providing players will share $209 million from FIFA. A daily rate of $8,530 for the official involvement of 736 players is shared among each club they were registered with in the two previous years.

 

(Source: The Indian Express)

How secure is Russia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

Russia is going to great lengths to ensure that the 2018 FIFA World Cup is a safe and peaceful football affair. Government has deployed 700 to 1200 CCTV camera systems in almost every host city, using the latest technology in face-recognition software where faces are automatically crossed check with police databases within seconds.
The goal is anti-terrorism, to prevent any attack from happening while guest from around the world experience the Russian lifestyle. Any suspicious activity will be pounced on by Russian security teams, monitoring of polices movements and reactions will also be consider, but security cameras are also just the first step in defense.

Large amounts of anti-terrorist training has been taking place in cities like Kaliningrad, to make sure reaction time is fast and visible. There is even an elite unit that can parachute into any stadium to neutralise any potential threat. Russia believes that most of its potential threats will come from or be a result of its operations in Syria and is expecting most of its terrorist threats to originate from the Islamic State.

Russian Security agencies are taking any potential threat very seriously, leaving nothing to chance also involving the army, the navy and the air force to boost security. All 32 teams taking part in the World Cup will need 24-hour security, and the Russian security agency FSB has already uncovered terror cells in several World Cup host cities.
The FSB has made sure to imprison any potential threat, removing them from any possibility of even attempting a crime. Securing all the stadiums, training grounds, fan zones, public area, transport areas and shopping centers create huge challenges for security forces, but something Russia seems to be ready for, relying on it previous experience of providing security for such events, plus international experience.

By: Mokgethi Mtezuka

FIFA 2026 World Cup Votes: Morocco Vs North America

FIFA will meet today for their annual congress, ahead of the World Cup 2018 which commences in Russia tomorrow. The most important item on the agenda today will be the voting of who will host the 2026 World Cup. There is a joint bid by North America, United States, Mexico and Canada, against the African country, Morocco. Both North America and Morocco are confident about winning the votes.

Other items on the agenda will include the consideration of the proposed changes to the FIFA’s status, the potential suspension or expulsion of members, especially Ghana Soccer Association, which is in the middle of a corruption crisis that was exposed publicly, reporting from different regions and also talks about rules and committee assignments.

Related stories: Ghana Football Association Dissolved with immediate effect

By: Ntsikelelo Kuse

KIA MOTORS Official Automotive Partner for FIFA 2018 World Cup

Kia Motors India has been announced as the official automotive partner of FIFA 2018 World Cup and will serve as the official match ball carriers for the event. The partnership with the FIFA World Cup has now been confirmed to last until 2022.

This means that Kia Motors will supply the official vehicles from its wide-ranging model line-up to FIFA and FIFA events and is boosting its brand recognition through various marketing activities and A-board advertisement in the stadiums. Kia Motors has always considered soccer sponsorships an important component of their marketing strategy and an efficient way to communicate with customers.

The partnership started in 1999 between Hyundai, the sister company of Kia Motors. The contract was for 13 FIFA competitions, and the agreement was extended to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. This is when Kia began the soccer sponsorship campaign and became one of the official Partner to FIFA from 2007 to 2014. The contract has now been extended to 2022.

(Source FIFA)