Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira claims that his South Africa side will “fear nobody” at the World Cup, despite predictions that they will be the worst ever host nation.
Parreira made his comments after watching his side complete their pre-tournament warmup programme with a win over fellow finalists Denmark.
The Brazilian said Bafana Bafana, ranked 83rd in the world and previously tipped to be the worst host team yet in the 80-year history of the World Cup, had shown themselves ready for the tournament, which kicks off on Friday.
“Everyone has to respect us and we fear nobody,” said Parreira as South Africa looked ahead to a last week of preparation having beaten the Danes 1-0 in Pretoria last weekend.
“I believe the team has shown itself ready for the World Cup. We will go into the tournament with confidence and now we can start to dream about a position, about achieving something,” the former World Cup winner said.
Katlego Mphela’s late goal handed South Africa a third successive win and stretched to 12 games their unbeaten run since Parreira returned to coach the team in November last year.
“This was a very special win because it was against a good team with lots of experience. We played with confidence and showed we were willing to compete.
“The path we chose for the World Cup has been proven to be the right one. The players bought into the vision that they could play the ball on the ground, keep the shape and be well organised.”
South Africa open the World Cup against Mexico at the cavernous Soccer City and Parreira was quick to temper any bold predictions of success in the tournament’s first match.
“Mexico have proved they are a very good team. It’s a very difficult group that we have and we have to take each game as a final. But the competition is open and we will go into it with confidence.” They also meet Uruguay and France in their group.
Parreira also had a word of praise for a sudden surge of support for the team, reflected in capacity crowds at all their home matches over the last two months.
CAF Mulls Super League Idea
The Confederation of African Football [CAF] is discussing the idea of introducing an African Super League, a continental competition which would likely replace the current CAF Champions League and hopefully boost revenue for the organising body.
The revelation was made as CAF President Patrice Motsepe issued a statement outlining the changes and reforms the new leadership is making to ensure African football is globally competitive and self-sustaining.
The idea has taken shape even despite the disastrous European Super League [ESL] proposal earlier this year, which caused major controversy before being banned after most founding member clubs bowed to fan pressure and pulled out.
“ExCo [the CAF executive committee] may have to discuss and consider new CAF competitions which may generate additional funding or income for CAF, its member associations and bodies and also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining,” Motsepe was quoted as saying by Tidesports source.
“In this regard, we are assessing and [are] in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League. We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.”
CAF is looking to boost income after recent forensic auditing revealed that the organisation has been beset by financial irregularities.
NPFL: Rivers United’s Coach Praises Players
The Chief Coach of Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, Ndubuisi Nduka, has praised his players after a 1-0 win over Katsina United FC in the match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) in Port Harcourt.
He stated that his boys (players) gave all their best to ensure they secured the maximum three points for the team, and described the encounter as very tough.
Nduka, said this on Sunday, during a post match interview with sports journalists, after the Pride of Rivers, defeated their opponents 1-0, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
According to him, what made the match more difficult for his players was that they failed to utilise goal opportunities they created in the first half of the game.
The only goal of the game came in the 77th minute by home boy, Malachi Ohawume, who made his goals four for this league season.
“It was a tough game; I think our boys gave it all.
What made it more difficult for us was the chances we lost especially in the first half, “ Nduka said.
He explained that the second round of the league is always difficult because every team is fighting to be at top and some are fighting not to be relegated.
“At this point and time of the league, the second round, we are stretching to the finishing point.
“It is always difficult and if you remember the position of Katsina United, they are not safe so they are looking for where to pick points, so I gave kudos to my boys as they secured three points for us, “ he stated.
Rivers United is now 4th on the log after 28 matches with 48 points.
By: Kiadum Edookor
Hockey Championship: Team Rivers’ Performance Excites Coach
The Head coach of Team Rivers State, (female) hockey, Comfort Nya, has commended her players after they defeated team Edo, 3-1 in the ongoing, 2021 Mabisel National Hockey Championship (MNHC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
She, described the match as one of the toughest games they have played, saying that the calibre of players she saw in the team Edo lineup was intimidating.
Nya said this on Monday in her post match interview with sports journalists, after their first victory in the championship, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports in Port Harcourt.
According to her, their first game in the championship was difficult because of the heavy downpour, adding that they could not play well but today they are awesome.
“It was a tough one, honestly speaking I would not tell lies, and the players I saw in team Edo lineup are old and good players and my girls are just upcoming.
“I was thinking of draw or let them just play but with this result I am so happy with their performance, “Nya said.
The coach further explained that their next outing will be against team Kaduna, they are going to do more better.
“Our first game was disturbed by heavy rainfall, they could not play well but today they have performed well.
“In our next game against team Kaduna, we are going to do better,” She stated..
By: Kiadum Edookor
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