At the beginning of February the who’s who of African football descended upon Nigeria’s commercial hub – Lagos, for the CAF awards. And true to their pathetic tradition, the awards were marred by lack of organization and controversy. The most jaw dropping moment came when Emmanual Adebayour was named African Footballer of the year at the expense of Egyptian and Al Ahly prolific goal poacher Mohamed Aboutreika, who just happened to have won AFCON 08 with his country and was also part of the Al Ahly team that was crowned CAF champions for a record 6th time. Ivorian and Chelsea strike, Salumon Kalou was the other player who was gunning for the award. It goes to show that CAF has no regard for players who ply their trade in Africa. Adebayour won nothing with Arsenal but he was good enough for CAF. South Africa’s Noko Matlou was named the woman Footballer of the year.
Women’s soccer has largely been in the shadow of their male counter parts for a long time and one can merely look at the lack of coverage they receive from the media. That will change from now on. With more than 300 women’s soccer teams in the SAFA regions, the mother association has, through its partnership with Absa, decided to lauch a Women’s League which will help in the production of more Noko Matlous hopefully.
With the ‘holy grail’ of football – world cup – approaching faster by the day and cynics starting to believe in it, LOC launched the sale of tickets for the world cup on February 20th. The ticketing issue has been a contentious one because it involves online purchases, of which most people at home are not familiar with at all. This was illustrated by the snail paced purchase of tickets for the Confeds Cup. The designated FNB branches are not adequately informed in order to deal with the queries of the frustrated soccer public at all and the sooner SAFA fixes the better it will be for everyone.
Its Nedbank cup time once more. That means we will witness stuff legend against fairytales, David and Goliath stories, dark horses pitted against sure bets and all this makes for an entertaining tournament which will see the victors walk away with 6 million and will represent SA at the CAF Confeds cup. Last year MP Black Aces raised eye brows when they made it to the final and unfortunately lost out by a goal scored at the death by Lerato Chabangu of Downs. May the best win this, our version of the FA cup.