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Former South African rugby star, Hannes Strydom dies in car crash

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Former South African rugby star, Hannes Strydom has died in an accident at the age of 58, the South African Rugby Union confirmed on Monday, making him the fifth player from their victorious 1995 World Cup team to pass away.

Strydom, who was a pharmacist by training, played 21 Tests for the Springboks between 1993 and 1997, and started the 1995 final where the home side defeated New Zealand 15-12 to take the crown at Ellis Park, a game which had former President Nelson Mandela in attendance.

Former teammate and close friend, Kobus Wiese told local media that though details of the accident were still sketchy, the vehicle Strydom was travelling in collided with a minibus taxi.

“The accident took place on Sunday near the coal mining town of eMalahleni in Mpumalanga province,” Wiese said.

In a tribute on the website of the South African Rugby Union, President Mark Alexander described Strydom as “one of the heroes of our local game”.

His former club, the Lions, also paid tribute to him, describing him as a legend who had formed a formidable lock combination with Wiese.

“We share a tight bond as members of the 1995 group and to lose yet another one of our brothers is a big blow,” Lions Rugby Company chief executive officer, Rudolf Straeuli said.

Strydom made his debut for the Springboks in 1993, and helped defeat arch-rivals New Zealand 15-12 in the 1995 World Cup final in Johannesburg— the biggest sporting event in South Africa after the end of apartheid— before ending his career after playing in the British and Irish Lions series.

Outside rugby, Strydom worked as a pharmacist in the capital, Pretoria, and started pharmacy chain, Pharma Valu after hanging up his boots.

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Nigerian keeper Nwabali becomes beautiful bride as English, Saudi clubs battle for him

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Super Eagles and Chippa United of South Africa goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, has become a hot property as he is attracting serious interest from clubs in England and Saudi Arabia.

According to transfer guru and journalist, Fabrizio Romano, English Championship side, Queens Park Rangers (QPR), and Saudi Arabian side, Al Ettifaq, who are managed by Steven Gerrard, are among the teams willing to splash the cash to lure Nwabali away from Chippa.

“Nigeria GK Stanley Nwabali, on the list of different clubs as Al Ettifaq in Saudi and Queens Park Rangers in UK have enquired about him. His South African club Chippa United will consider his future move in the next months,” Romano wrote on X on Monday morning.

Romano added that the two clubs as well as some unnamed clubs have made enquiries about Nwabali and Chippa will look into his future but it remains to be if a transfer will materialise.

The 27-year-old had an impressive outing at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament where he pulled out impressive performances to lead Nigeria to the final.

His performances has also sparked rumours of interest in the South Africa with top PSL rivals, Kaizer Chiefs, being one of the clubs mentioned.

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Rigobert Song pens emotional farewell message following sack as Indomitable Lions’ coach

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Former coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, Rigobert Song, has bid an emotional farewell to fans of the national team following his sack during the week.

Song, who was relieved of his position by the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) led by his former teammate, Samuel Eto’o, on Wednesday, said he was so grateful for the opportunity to coach the team and expressed hopes of better days for the team’s future.

Reflecting on his tenure, Song expressed his pride in having led the Indomitable Lions for two years.

“I was very honored for two years to be the head coach of our national football team, the Indomitable Lions,” he wrote in his parting statement.

“Sport being what it is, our performances during these competitions were not commensurate with the notoriety and prestige of Cameroonian football.

“The Indomitable Lions is my story, it’s my Life. I remain a fan who knows that new and beautiful pages in the history of Cameroonian football will be written,” Song stated.

Song’s sacking followed Cameroon’s unexpected exit from the Africa Cup of Nations in January at the hands of Nigeria, coupled with a string of uninspiring results over the years.

His course was also not helped by his famous fallout with goalkeeper Andre Onana at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar where the fans favourite was send home from the team’s camp, an act which drew serious criticism from football fans in the country.

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