DURBAN - IOL Sport soccer writer Minenhle Mkhize shares his highs and low of the year. Comment or share your thoughts on the IOL Sport facebook page.
1. Banyana Banyana
The national women's team Banyana Banyana enjoyed a successful 2018, and were crowned Cosafa Cup champions before ending the year on a high note by qualifying for their maiden Fifa World Cup, to be held next year in France. Painful as it was to lose on penalties against Nigeria in the African Women’s championship in Ghana, booking a place in France was the main goal which they attained with impressive displays.
With Bafana Bafana under-performing under Stuart Baxter, Banyana has been the shining light for the country. .
2. Steve Komphela
Komphela parted ways with Kaizer Chiefs in a most bizarre fashion - with three months left on his contract, Komphela was compelled to hand out his resignation letter as fans were calling for his head following a 2-0 defeat against Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi final. Chiefs supporters were incensed that Komphela had failed to deliver silverware during his three seasons with Amakhosi, and stormed the pitch, and Komphela had to run to the change room.
The stadium was vandalised and TV cameras damaged. Chiefs were censured, and subsequently played two of their home games behind closed doors.
Patrick Mabedi then took the reins until the end of the season.
3. Tendai Ndoro
Ajax were relegated for the first time in their history but the drama started when they signed Tendai Ndoro. According to the Fifa rules he wasn’t eligible to play as he had played for three teams in one season which is not permitted.
Ajax went against the Premier Soccer League advice and continued to field Ndoro and were later docked 10 points and as a result were relegated in to the National First Division. It was a very sad moment because the Urban Warriors has contributed massively to the growth of football in South Africa by exporting more players overseas.
4. Percy Tau:
Percy Tau’s record transfer fee to Brighton made headlines, and it was a huge step for Tau moving from Mamelodi Sundowns to the English outfit, and was later loaned to Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise.
It is not every player who gets to earn themselves a lucrative deal in Europe, and moving to the Premier League is a huge move. Brighton were reported to have paid R50 million for the services of Tau.
Eralier this year, Tony Bloom, Chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion was confirmed as the majority shareholder.
AmaZulu were dealt a major blow when they were docked six points for breaching the Fifa rules. Usuthu failed to pay the Namibian international Phinheas Nambandi for the remainder of his contract after the club decided to part ways with him. Nambandi demanded R300 000 back in 2014 but Usuthu didn’t pay.
The player, together with the South African Football Players Union, referred the matter to Fifa. The Namibian won the case but Usuthu referred the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sports but their appeal was turned down. Fifa ordered Usuthu to pay R1.086 million, but they missed the deadline. Fifa decided to dock them points which left AmaZulu rock-bottom.
But it seems like that didn’t distract them because they have come back strongly, ending the year 10th on the log after 15 league games.@Minenhlecr7
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