Bright gives up on Tsotso
Senior national team coach Major David Bright has given up on his resolve of seeing attacker Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele joining Mamelodi Sundowns.
Concerned by the dilemma faced by the national star since his demotion to play in the South African reserve league, Bright engaged the team’s technical arm on the player’s conditions of play. “I will engage the association to assist us in talking with Pitso Mosimane; we are of the view that Tsotso has to be conditioned to get back to his level best. His absence deeply troubles us,” Bright said prior to the meeting with the team.
However the consultation has not yielded the expected results. “Yes we did engage them especially reserve coach Notoane (David) but in conclusion it was clear that he will stay with the reserve team until maybe next year,” Bright told Weekendsport. On the other hand it appears the revised PSL rules on foreign players quota is the reason the player was downgraded. The revised PSL foreign clearly states: “a Member Club may not have more than five (5) foreign Players contracted with it at any point in time.” The wealthy Sundowns is able to attract foreign talent which means for now there are over five foreign players registered for the season.
The visibly disappointed Bright revealed that the team is busy processing Tsotso’s South African citizenship. “Yeah they are working on localizing him and it’s not an overnight thing it will take time hence Tsotso will be stuck in that league. What is important nonetheless is the fact that he is keeping fit and we will continue to call him to the national team camps.” Ngele’s situation with former African champions, Mamelodi Sundowns has grown precarious since his glittering stay in South Africa. He joined the moneyed Pretoria based outfit three seasons ago after scintillating showing with Platinum Stars.
Sundowns, who showed interest in the pencil slim striker, have surprisingly given him only a few minutes on the pitch before loaning him to Bidvest Wits a season ago. Pundits say it is a sign that he is not needed. He was first believed to be part of the deal that saw striker Sibusiso Vilakazi moving to Sundowns from Wits. But later it emerged that Ngele was on a long season loan.
The talented Botswana player however continued to be on the upward trajectory at Wits and rightly so, was one of the fundamental pieces of the Wits squad that won the league last season. But as fate would have it, Ngele was seemingly not part of Gavin Hunt’s plans for his squad. The Wits coach has since allowed Ngele to return to the Tshwane outfit, and worryingly, the player with a dangerous left foot, has not featured for Sundowns thus far.
……IM YET TO SEE NATO
Bright who has expressed his desire to have experienced players like Ofentse Nato in his team is yet to meet with the ex-Zebras skipper. “For now we haven’t meet mainly because of contacts issues but I will try by all means to see him,” he said. . The Zebras coach believes Nato is an important cogwheel in the national team considering the fact that the backline is always caught wanting.
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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer
The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.
Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.
“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”
Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.
“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”
HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY DO THIS?
By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.
Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.
“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”
He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”
However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”
“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”