The festive season is the one time that really irritates me but an early Christmas gift like certain teams received wouldn’t hurt. As Halle Gebrasellasie went in and out of retirement in the space of two weeks one wonders if the Dalai Lama will pull the same stunt as he too has announced his resignation.
2010 is almost done and dusted and it will be year the nation will reflect for years to come as a very successful World Cup was hosted without any scandals the “clairvoyant” overseas media had envisaged. Spain hoisted the Holy Grail in a final that saw two “always bridesmaids” team go head to head to guarantee us a first time winner. La Oranje and La Furia Roja played a fairly entertaining game that was decided by an Andries Iniesta goal in the second half.
TP Mazembe have managed to circumvent Esperance to retain the African Champions League. If TP Mazembe served their fellow finalists their lunch the way they did you have to wonder if there will be any worthy contenders next year to equiponderate this juggernaut from Congo. South African representatives have shown another under par installment as Gavin Hunt’s man could not even salvage a quarter final exit.
Supersport managed to retain their title for the 2nd time to make city rivals Mamelodi Sundowns envious enough to pull up their socks and ameliorate their standard of play hence their possession of poll position at the moment. Swallows who went up against Pirates in the WAFA WAFA Finals must be wondering how they managed enough wins to make the finals of that tournament but can’t even salvage one win in the Premier Soccer League. With only one point on the board Swallows gave an ultimatum to their coach to either to get two arduous wins against Supersport and Santos or pack his bags up and their stalemate against Supersport United leaves his carry at the Dube Birds in jeopardy.
While Barcelona and Intermilan also retained their league titles in Spain and Italy, Chelsea denied Man United that fate. It seems the race in England will also be between these two this season as they are sitting at one and two. The Blues must be nicknamed Santa Clause for the early Christmas gifts they gave to Sunderland and Birmingham which should have been perfunctory victories for a usually clinical team. These invaluable points coupled with their impeccable goal difference would have buttressed their title hopes as they would have got into the Christmas break with a huge gap between them and the other teams.
The scandals of Lalit Modi & the Pakistani players continue to maim the reputation of the game of Cricket. Match fixing has come into the fore again firstly earlier on the year just after the Indian Premier League had concluded.
Then it was intentional match fixing scandal that rocked the game when Pakistan were playing England. This problem has cost this game the young players who were involved in this ( Salman Butt,Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir) and recently Zulqarnain Haider who resigned from the game citing fear of the endangerment towards him and his family as his raison d’etre. On less grievious news Chennai Super Kings won the IPL, the Mumbai Indians won the T20 Champions League while the indomitable Aussies won the T20 World Cup with a very pugnacious performance against Pakistan. Hashim won the Player Of The Year Award as he continued his good form. Smith promulgated his prospective resignation after next year’s World Cup while Makhaya Ntini resigned from international cricket.
The Boks are currently depleted by the returning home of Bjorn Basson and Chilliboy Rapelele after failing a drug test and must be feeling quite dejected about the whole year as it has been a very bad one. After narrowly winning to Ireland they too gave an early present to Scotland who they hadn’t lost to since 2002 and won to England at Twickenham.A dreadful Tri- Nations put Pieter De Villiers coaching position in jeopardy. With the World Cup around the corner it seems the favourites are the All Blacks once again like every other one ironic as it is as they haven’t won it in two decades.
A team that can be quite proud of their showcasing though is the Commonwealth game team South Africa which managed to attain 33 medals (12 Gold medals, 11 Silver medals, and 10 Bronze). This was a far better team than the one that went to the Olympic games two years back.