Conversation between cousins Perreira & Santana before Santana joined Bafana Bafana

Perreira : dude stop sitting around and starving in Brazil, there’s a place in Africa with plenty of moola and the football association is a bunch of retards who will pay you whatever you want and believe whatever you say.

Santana: how much are we talking about?

Perreira: around R1.5 mil a month….

Santana: You lie….get out of here! I thought Africa was a third world continent?

Perreira: Yep thats what I thought too, but hey these guys are nut case, they are so gullible its not funny, and they think they are rich..

Santana: you getting me excited now, but how will I get my hands on those riches?

Perreira : mmmmmhhh….. how well do you know soccer cousin? because i was thinkin you can come take my place as a coach of their national team, i miss home now and I’ve had my share already..

Santana: I watch it every now and then.

Perreira: Ahhhh, thats enough.. we can even say you’ve coached a small local team before and I will recommend you cousin…

Santana: man we talking about a national team here, not just any local team!!

Perreira: Dont worry cousin leave all that to me, I told you thats a banana republic.

Santana: But dont you have a contract with them already?

Perreira : So what? I can always say my wife is sick and needs my support..

Santana: oh one last thing…. I just met this woman and I really like her, I just cant leave her..

Perreira: Can she speak English?

Santana: She watches Santa Babra and she said to me this morning “happy morning”

Perreira: Great!!! she can go to SA with you.. we’ll say she’s your interpreter, she can also earn some money from SAFA.

Santana: you kidding me… is this country soo bad?

Perreira: a circus I tell you…

Santana: what if I want to come back home before my contract expires?

Perreira: dont worry you will not stay there for long, no one ever does, the team loses all the time and the public blames the coach…

Santana: so these guys cant even play?

Perreira: come watch this video… you see this weakest link? “Eric Mathoho the gate way” he is the best defender in SA. should I say more?

Santana: hahahahaha… let me go do my visa and passport right away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A VERY MESSI SITUATION

 

MESSI MESSI

When it rains, it pours, Barcelona FC seems to be moving from one crisis to the next.  News of their prized asset Lionel Messi seemingly wanting to make a move away from the Camp Nou comes as a real shocker to the Catalan faithful.

Messi is deeply concerned about the current situation at the club. The Catalan outfit has in recent weeks been in the news for their lack of activity in the transfer market, to bolster the squad with quality players immediately after Neymar’ world record move to PSG.  The unsuccessful pursuit of Phillipe Coutinho is well documented after Liverpool rejected yet another bid of at least $141m.  Jürgen Klopp is not moving, he wants the Brazilian playmaker to be nuclear of Liverpool’s quest to push for the EPL title this season.

A 5-1 defeat by arch-rivals Real Madrid just made the situation even worse.  You can lose to any other team by not your closest enemies.

At one point Messi was on the verge to commit to long-term stay at Barcelona with a deal that would have made him the highest paid player on the planet, and news that he hasn’t signed on the dotted line has caused frenzy across Europe.

Pep Guardiola and Messi reunion seems imminent after both camps met to trash out a deal sometime last week.  The Argentine international made his bones under the guidance of Pep at Barcelona, and surely they had a great working relationship, that in its own would probably convince Messi to head straight to the Etihad. Let’s hope unlike Robinho, he doesn’t get lost in Manchester and end up on the wrong side of the city LOL.

As it stands with the current contract, Messi has a buy-out clause of about $354m, which Manchester City are gladly prepared to meet.  Over the past few weeks or so we have learned that every man has his own price and buyout clauses are not even worth the papers they’re written on.

Man City is in pole position to capture the most prized asset in world football, unless of cause another well to do club enter the fray. I am very certain that the men from Doha are watching any development with keen interest.  Of course, money is not a problem.  Imagine newspaper headlines: MESSI & NEYMAR REUNITE IN THE CITY OF LOVE.

Barcelona finds themselves in a difficult position, the absence of a new signed FOUR YEAR contract means Messi’s current contract expires at the end of this season and could walk for FREE. The whole contractual situation is now becoming a numbers game, and Barcelona have no more space to manoeuvre however they may be left with a couple of options a) Take the money and run, b) Allow the player to leave for FREE.

Losing a second key player in a space of weeks will ultimately put the club into situation critical. However, Barcelona will try everything in their power to hold onto this world class player who arrived at the club aged 13.

Mr Josep Bartomeu cut your losses take the money and run.

 

A VERY MESSI SITUATION

 

MESSI MESSI

As the saying go “When it rains, it pours”, Barcelona FC seems to be moving from one crisis to the next.  News of their prized asset Lionel Messi seemingly wanting to make a move away from the Camp Nou comes as a real shocker to the Catalan faithful.

Messi is deeply concerned about the current situation at the club. The Catalan outfit has in recent weeks been in the news for their lack of activity in the transfer market, to bolster the squad with quality players immediately after Neymar’ world record move to PSG.  The unsuccessful pursuit of Phillipe Coutinho is well documented after Liverpool rejected yet another bid of at least $141m.  Jürgen Klopp is not moving, he wants the Brazilian playmaker to be nuclear of Liverpool’s quest to push for the EPL title this season.

A 5-1 defeat by arch-rivals Real Madrid just made the situation even worse.  You can lose to any other team by not your closest enemies.

At one point Messi was on the verge to commit to long-term stay at Barcelona with a deal that would have made him the highest paid player on the planet, and news that he hasn’t signed on the dotted line has caused frenzy across Europe.

Pep Guardiola and Messi reunion seems imminent after both camps met to trash out a deal sometime last week.  The Argentine international made his bones under the guidance of Pep at Barcelona, and surely they had a great working relationship, that in its own would probably convince Messi to head straight to the Etihad. Let’s hope unlike Robinho, he doesn’t get lost in Manchester and end up on the wrong side of the city LOL.

As it stands with the current contract, Messi has a buy-out clause of about $354m, which Manchester City are gladly prepared to meet.  Over the past few weeks or so we have learned that every man has his own price and buyout clauses are not even worth the papers they’re written on.

Man City is in pole position to capture the most prized asset in world football, unless of cause another well to do club enter the fray. I am very certain that the men from Doha are watching any development with keen interest.  Of course, money is not a problem.  Imagine newspaper headlines: MESSI & NEYMAR REUNITE IN THE CITY OF LOVE.

Barcelona finds themselves in a difficult position, the absence of a new signed FOUR YEAR contract means Messi’s current contract expires at the end of this season and could walk for FREE. The whole contractual situation is now becoming a numbers game, and Barcelona have no more space to manoeuvre however they may be left with a couple of options a) Take the money and run, b) Allow the player to leave for FREE.

Losing a second key player in a space of weeks will ultimately put the club into situation critical. However, Barcelona will try everything in their power to hold onto this world class player who arrived at the club aged 13.

Mr Josep Bartomeu cut your losses take the money and run.

Hasta La Vista Catalonia…

Neymar

Personally I think Neymar’s move to PSG is as good as done.  Neymar has successfully managed to push through for this move to happen.  In recent time PSG bound Neymar nearly came to blows with Barca new kid Nelson Semedo during an off season training camp in Miami.  Some of the senior player like Mascherano quickly intervened to diffuse the bust up.

Unfortunately for the Catalan fans this fall out signalled their worst fears that Neymar is already at the exit door.  The chain of event will force Barcelona’s hand onto the negotiating table with the French club; however it will not be an easy dialogue.

Barcelona’s higher echelons are surely happy to release him in order to stabilize the dressing room. They can’t afford to keep a player whose playing ambitions firmly lie elsewhere.

PSG backed by Qatar based QSI are prepared to activate a whopping $258m buyout clause, however the transaction might fall on the wrong side of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.  FFP dictates that PSG must receive a certain amount in transfers’ equivalent to what they willing to spend on Neymar’s potential world record move.  A possible trading on exchange of players both directions maybe looked at as another option, alternatively Neymar can himself pay Barcelona the buy-out clause, bypassing FFP regulations…….Well he wouldn’t be out of pocket for long, as QSI have lined up a mouth-watering $70m contract for him to be an official ambassador of the 2022 Qatar World Cup

The story reminds me of one Mohammed Bin Hammam once said, “ I cannot disappoint the royal highness Emir Of Qatar, what the Emir wants, he will definitely gets”…. Indeed that’s absolutely true, the Emir wanted the tiny oil rich country to host the biggest football tournament (World Cup),  despite objections from various corners of the globe around having the competition in Qatar, due to various issues including amongst others very high hot temperature in summer periods, and of cause its tainted record on human rights violation and abuse.  Qatar still got the nod to be host of the 2022 World cup tournament.

Now the Emir wants Neymar Da Silva Santos Jr……….31st August is a long time, until then every second matter…..tick tock tick tock…..

 

Caf-logo-

Finally leagues across Europe are breathing a sigh of relief, after CAF executive committee announced on Thursday that AFCON competition will move from January to July. Change of period is effective for the next tournament to be hosted by Cameroon in two years’ time, and it will be expanded to 24 teams instead 16.

Africa’s premier biennial football tournament AFCON has been customarily hosted in January and February, causing major difficulties for coaches and league’s across Europe. The tournament timing has always put a strain between clubs and players, having some teams refusing to release their players during January, as this is a peak period for European teams vying for championship in their respective domestic leagues. Clubs are always unwilling to let key players go for at least 30 days or so during peak time.

The change of dates is to be in sync with the European season, to avoid matters of club vs country which plagued the tournament in recent years resulting in countries sending second string squads, due to unavailability of players because the competition fell outside FIFA sanctioned dates.
Bravo the quality of football at AFCON is surely going to improve, which ultimately means more revenue from sponsors, fans will flock to the stadiums in numbers and that’s a great picture for television.

Believe it or not most foreign leagues are dominated by star African footballers, and this clubs pay astronomical amounts of money in salaries to these players to ply their duties and win them bragging rights with trophies. For instance at this years AFCON out of 368 players that were involved 64% ply their trade in Europe, 28% in Africa followed by Asia (28%) and the Americas (1%).

Liverpool dealt a major blow towards their tittle race when manager Jürgen Klopp was forced to omit Cameroonian Joel Matip from match teams in run up to the hotly contested EPL race fearing a possible FIFA ban. Joel Matip had been called up for the Indomitable Lions team to feature at AFCON 2017.
Matip claimed to have retired from international footballing matters, however as per FIFA rules, he should have submitted documents to his respective FA to inform them.

FIFA ruling states that “any divergent agreement between a player and a club is prohibited,” though that “associations wishing to call up a player who is playing abroad must notify the player in writing at least 15 days before the day of the match for which he is required.

“The player’s club shall also be informed in writing at the same time. The club must confirm the release of the player within the following six days.
“Should he wish not to be called up for a certain match or matches or for a certain period of time, he must inform the association of which he is a national, in writing, of his intention before being called up.

“Furthermore, only the player himself is entitled to renounce representing his national team. This declaration shall be submitted by the player to the association concerned in writing.”
Cat fights of this nature are never to be seen again, player will be more willing to represent their countries without jeopardising club football commitments.

Wings of change are creeping in within CAF executive committee led by President Ahmad Ahmad. His stance to change the status quo at CAF is beginning to bear fruit, however there’ still a long way to go turn the wheel completely around. Next on CAF exco agenda is to bring AFCON TV rights back to the motherland, we have broadcasters such as SABC, Supersport et al that are equal to the task of being the tournament to every citizen of Africa.

RESPECT FOR PRINCIPLES OF NEUTRALITY & INDEPENDENCE

The Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) recalls that, among the principles underlying the fundamental values of Olympism, is the need for all stakeholders in sport in general and football in particular, players, clubs, national associations and confederations to respect strict neutrality and independence, particularly at the political level, within the framework of the sporting events in which they participate.

The guarantee of respect for these principles of neutrality and independence is part of the statutory missions of CAF and FIFA, as well as the obligations of member associations.

Certain inadequate behaviours in this respect have recently been noted by representatives of certain Clubs and National Teams competing in CAF competitions.

Such behaviour has no place in a sports competition. CAF calls on the relevant stakeholders for reason to prevail, regardless of their sensitivities, and stresses that it will be particularly vigilant as regards respect for these principles of neutrality and independence in all future games played under its aegis.

Particular attention of all Organising Committees for CAF Competitions, including the CAF Organising Committee for Interclub Competitions, as well as the Match Commissioners and General Coordinators, has been drawn specifically to these issues.

The Match Commissioners and General Coordinators will make the necessary findings and reports, while the relevant Organising Committees will take appropriate sanctions in accordance with the applicable regulations.

Source: http://www.cafonline.com

 

No more gaffes? Football Technology Is Here.

Nestor Pitana

FIFA Confederation Cup Russia 2017 got off to a wobbly start. This quadrennial football event is usually used as a precursor tournament barely a year before the highly prized World Cup finals is hosted in a particular country.  As such this tournament seeks to assess the host’s readiness and ability in terms of infrastructure, logistics et al to stage football’s ultimate flagship event.

Apart from logistics and other critical elements that are put to the test, we saw in this year’s tournament technology being put through a litmus test as well.  The introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been a matter of controversy amongst football fans around the globe. What is this VAR?

VAR is an association football assistant referee that reviews decisions made by the head referee with the use of video footage and a headset for communication. VARs are not currently part of the Laws of the Game, but their use is currently being trialled by the International Football Association Board in a number of different competitions. (Source Wikipedia).

Let’s rewind to last night Group B encounter between Portugal and Mexico. In the 21st minute the Portuguese side took a lead through defender Pepe, only for the goal to be disallowed after a contentious video review.  Shortly after the goal was scored, the Argentine referee Nestor Pitana called for a video assisted review, which ultimately ruled that the Real Madrid defender had in fact been in an offside position.

The controversy continued well into the second match which pitted Chile against the African champions Cameroon.

At the stroke of half time Chilean striker Eduardo Vargas thought he had scored his first goal of the tournament, however it wasn’t the case… After some ponderings the goal in question was not given, as ruled offside AGAIN.

Football is a natural sport, which is characterized by critical conversation stemming out of controversial decisions made by the referee. The introduction of video assisted reviews makes it hard for the game to flow naturally. We see stop/start situations that tends to slow down the match flow.  I say NO to video assisted decision making in football this is not cricket or rugby.  We need to engage and dissect these controversial decisions long after regular 90 minute, that’s what football is all about.  YES to goal line technology by all means.

With VAR you can only challenge things that are not given. What about those that are given under dubious manner? New things have been introduced in the game, but this has to be the most controversial decision to be implemented in the modern day football.

Another school of thought might say VAR is good for the game; it will bring back integrity to the sport. At what cost?

As the saying goes “to improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often”….definitely time will take its course as we forge ahead to accept VAR as part of our new football control measures.

A dear friend of mine wrote on Facebook “It’s OK brother we will get used to it….it is more like putting on a condom” Oooops I nearly fell off my sofa…

The Legendary match commentator Peter Drury summed it up with this words: “Well this are new scenarios in world football, we have to embrace it”…