Countdown To 2010 #10
South African based Manchester City fan, Mariner sent us the following. To read his previous reports, click here.
Of late there has been a deafening silence on the South African soccer scene, but, last Wednesday the new (second hand) coach Carlos Parreira, arrived from Brazil to resume his interrupted duties from eighteen months ago.
His first statement was that he was not in it for the money, but primarily to recoup SA's soccer fortunes and build a viable side for the World Cup. At approximately 1.8 million Rand per month, which is a phenomenal salary by SA terms he is hardly likely to come short in the pocket either. His next move was to recall Benni McCarthy to the squad for the forthcoming games against Japan - this at the new stadium in Port Elizabeth and Jamaica.
All of you over there in the UK will be more aware of Benni's current form for Blackburn Rovers - virtually none at all as far as I can see from this side, but, as only one forward has scored in the last nine games (sorry make that player), I suppose he can hardly be worse than the present incumbents.
An item of two weeks ago unconfirmed obviously, has stated that South Africa's domestic Airlines are considering virtually quadrupling the cost of internal fares during the period of the World Cup. Welcome to SA.
Meanwhile the gender row over South Africa's gold medal winner at the Berlin Games simmers on, with the whole of the Athletics South Africa Board, who, through their Chairman, lied in their teeth about tests carried out before Berlin, have been suspended en masse. They are now currently meeting behind closed doors to consider their response, but anyone with a shred of decency would have resigned long ago.
Currently, in the Johannesburg Supreme Court, South Africa's ex top cop, Jackie Selebi is up on corruption charges, having been accused of accepting bribes worth millions from his buddy Mafia boss, Glen Agliotti, now testifying against him in return for some form of immunity from the State. Agliotti was also heavily involved in the so far unsolved murder of mining tycoon Brett Kebble in 2006. Quite amazingly, before his suspension, Selebi had just finished a stint as head of Interpol, which makes one wonder very much regarding the probity of that force as well.
Eskom, South Africa's troubled electricity supplier has just announced that its CEO has resigned without any explanation being given, so trust the generators will hold up for 2010.
Back to soccer and South Africa's two top teams, Orlando Pirates and Kaiser Chiefs played out a mind numbing 0-0 draw last week, with the first real shot on goal coming in the 76th minute, and the Durban City Council have announced that two local teams have agreed to utilise the Moses Mbhida stadium for their home games after the tournament. As their combined support probably totals less than 6000, this will not go very far towards making the stadium a viable enterprise post 2010.
Oh well, we all live in hope.