Xenophobia: Madagascar cancel friendly match against South Africa

first_imgRelatedPosts CAF gives date for resumption of AFCON 2021, Qatar 2022 qualifiers Madagascar herb not cure for COVID-19, FG declares CAF, NFF salute Chukwueze at 21 Madagascar has pulled out of Saturday’s planned friendly match hastily arranged by the South African Football Association after their initial opponent Zambia pulled out of the friendly a few days ago. The Bafana Bafana were originally set to face Zambia in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, as part of their warm-up fixtures before their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November, but the match was cancelled on Tuesday after Zambia withdrew, citing xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa. The South African Football Association hastily arranged a replacement with Madagascar and even announced free entry for supporters attending the fixture at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. However, the Malagasy Football Federation in a statement on Thursday afternoon said it is pulling out of the planned friendly, citing security reasons. The statement reads: “The Malagasy Football Federation (FMF) has been approached by the South African Football Federation (SAFA) to organize a friendly match between the national team of Madagascar and that of South Africa. “Honoured by this consideration, and finding the interesting opportunity to prepare the Malagasy national team for the different deadlines that await them, the FMF initially gave its agreement in principle for the organisation of the meeting. “However, after having agreed with Malagasy national institutions in particular regarding the security of the delegation of Madagascar and Malagasy nationals in South Africa, it was found necessary and judicious to decline the invitation. “The Malagasy national team will continue its reunion in Madagascar and will see its elements return to their respective clubs after the FIFA date. “Finally, the FMF apologises to SAFA for the efforts they have begun to organise the meeting, and also supporters of Malagasy football who looked forward to the match.” Bafana Bafana confirmed the cancellation of the match in a tweet by the South African FA.Tags: Africa Cup of NationsMadagascarMalagasy Football FederationSouth Africa Football AssociationZAMBIAlast_img read more

Reflections on a day of sun and huge waves in the South Bay

first_imgAt sunrise on Wednesday morning I was driving the various Palos Verdes Drives to Marymount College, where a bunch of wonderfully deluded chamber of commerce people were waiting for me to be funny over breakfast. This was a mass meeting of the San Pedro and Palos Verdes Peninsula chambers and they were all newspaper readers, smart people who politely laughed at all the dumb places in my talk. There was a time in my cynical young life when I didn’t think much of groups like this. Then I realized that cynicism doesn’t provide a community backbone, it doesn’t raise money as this group did for Cheer For Children, and it doesn’t make things work like these people make things work. All in all, it was a gift of a day that started with the kind of clear bluish dawn that you see on early-morning air approaches into places like Dublin and Reykjavik. From Palos Verdes Drive West, sky and sea merged in a light offshore flow destined to reverse itself, with Thursday night rain taking us from deadly dry to deadly wet. It was that kind of sea, epic as a Winslow Homer painting – a sea vast, killing and irresistible. I parked in the crowded lot at Paseo del Mar, where towel-wrapped men and women wriggled expertly in and out of wet suits. There, high above the point break at a spot called Haggerty’s, 60 surfers – straddling boards – bobbed like seals in 10- to 12-foot waves. This after navigating an eroded 100-foot cliff-face barefooted, bloodied often, with board under arm. Having grown up in Florida, beside a sea still as a swimming pool, I have been from my first days here taken with what may well be the most difficult and demanding sport ever, an eccentric, special-case activity for people who have the right mix of audacity, balance, grace, stamina and stupidity. That and the desire to enter a cold sea early on a Wednesday morning, forsaking all other responsibilities, for a sport absolutely dependent on the whims of nature. There is, of course, a surfer stereotype. You know, the dim bulb, the terminally hung-loose. And while they certainly exist, most of the surfers I’ve met over the years were anything but that. In fact, they were everything and everyone but, as several surfers reminded me on this morning, you still don’t want to penetrate the jealously guarded waves on the other side of that break. USC architecture student Ryan Fischvogt (a pretty good name for a surfer, I thought) had just come up the cliff and was still looking out to sea when he described for me his three hours in the surf. “They weren’t super powerful, not overpowering. They were just beautiful,” he said, tired, awed, satisfied and standing only feet from people trying to capture with cameras that which can only be felt and experienced. Being a West Coast guy, he wasn’t nearly as impressed as classmate and fellow surfer Nathan Doctor, who told me, “I’m from New York. We got nothing like this.” Actually, we don’t either. Not all the time. But every few years or so we do. And sometimes it’s terrifying, like the single day in January 1988 when I watched waves nearly demolish King Harbor. At those times our fleeting grip on this storied coast is made clear. It’s ours only on loan. Mostly, the vastness and power of an onrushing sea humbles us as it makes nonsense of our sand berms, homes and seemingly substantial piers. Christiana Boerger, a 28-year-old marine biologist from San Pedro, has just navigated the cliff trail with surfing pal Danica Holt, a longshore worker. Even sand-covered and water-soaked, the wet-suited pair were the very images of California women. They are fit, smart, funny and they have great smiles. During nearly three hours in the water they took about six rides each and were elated. “You get noodle-arms and claw-hands after paddling for that long,” Boerger joked. “But the waves had awesome size and shape. That plus the sun’s out, the air is warm and, best of all, when you go through a wave, when you’re on its far side, the offshore wind blows a spray over you like rain. It’s amazing. Just amazing.” And it was, for all those nonsurfers just standing and watching, for me, for everyone with a beating heart and eyes to see, it was just that, amazing. I want to hear your comments. Connect with me at [email protected] or send a letter to Daily Breeze/John Bogert, 5215 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503-4077.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThis reminds me of the old Bob Hope joke: “Only in California do you have fire, flood, rain, snow, high winds and earthquakes and all on the same day.” After the breakfast I drove back to the paper via Portuguese Bend just because I love the view from the sheltered side of the Peninsula and because I enjoy the road sign that warns of constantly moving ground. There’s something magical and truly terrible in that great swath of earth that started moving back in 1956 for reasons mostly man-made. And it’s still sliding across its slick Bentonite base toward an intractable sea. But what I was looking for lay just beyond that, where the high cliffs face into the rare big swells that were on this day pounding the entire California coast. Suddenly there were people standing in every turn-out, at every spot where there was a view of the huge waves that slipped around normally sheltering Point Conception and between the Channel Islands, coming at us from a storm in the Pacific Northwest. Along the way these wind-generated monsters kept boats in port and killed an experienced big-wave surfer at Ghost Trees near Monterey. last_img read more