Crystal Palace are set to beat QPR to the signing of West Ham midfielder Momo Diame, the Sunday People say.Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has long been keen to bring in Diame but it is claimed that Eagles boss Neil Warnock has won the race to sign him. Hull were also reported to be interested.Redknapp wants to sign Aaron Lennon as well as Andros Townsend from Tottenham, the Mail on Sunday claim.Diame has long been one of Redknapp’s transfer targetsThe Daily Star Sunday say Redknapp is also looking to buy forward Fabio Borini from Liverpool.Chelsea are extremely confident of signing Loic Remy from QPR despite Arsenal launching a late bid to capture the France striker, according to the Sunday Telegraph. Related West London Sport story: Arsenal make their move for QPR’s Remy Meanwhile, the Mail say Paris St-Germain are keen to tie up a loan deal for Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
7 July 2010The 2010 Fifa World Cup has helped to market South Africa as a key player, President Jacob Zuma told about 80 international portfolio fund managers gathered in Cape Town on Tuesday, urging them to explore Africa’s numerous investment opportunities.“They have seen the warm friendly people of our country, they have seen the precision when it comes to planning and arrangements, and they have seen the efficiency when it comes to our security,” Zuma told the fund managers.“We have had a most successful and exciting time in the last three weeks. It really has been an emotional rollercoaster for all 32 teams competing.”South Africa has ‘come a long way’South Africa, he said, had come a long way since its first democratic elections in 1994.“A mere 20 years ago, nobody could want to come here. Apartheid seemed near impossible to overcome, but we did. We did not give up. We overcame,” he said.He said while the World Cup, like the Rugby World Cup in 1995, had the ability to unite South Africans and transform the country, it would also leave a lasting legacy on jobs, education and infrastructure.South Africa had made “good” returns from the World Cup, including R32-billion spent on transport and telecoms and 66 000 jobs created through the building of new stadiums.“I don’t think any would say no if we said, let us have the Olympics, because we have the facilities,” Zuma said.Explore African investmentHe urged the fund managers, from countries such as Finland, Singapore, Chile and the UK, to explore Africa’s many investment opportunities.“Africa is open for business, explore your opportunities and find new partners and find returns on your investment. It is a positive time,” said Zuma.He said the fact that Africa had performed better than most during the recent global economic crisis confirmed that the continent was “a very different place” to what it had historically been perceived as.South Africa was a central market between the emerging economies of South-east Asia and South America and was also centrally placed for southern African countries, through the Southern African Customs Union.New centres of growthZuma said the new global framework being drawn up by the G20, of which South Africa was a member, must create new opportunities for new centres of economic growth and allow new entrants into the mainstream.As such, he believed African countries should not be viewed simply as exporters of raw materials and aid beneficiaries.“We want to be seen as a development partner, as a partner to work with to transform international power relations,” said Zuma.He also called for a re-look at how heads of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund were elected, saying the process needed to be more “thorough and just” and not simply based on the nominee’s nationality.Historically, the IMF’s managing director has been European and the president of the World Bank has been from the US.Source: BuaNews
Aaron Mokoena goes through his pacesin training.(Images: The Aaron Mokoena Foundation) Aaron and the Bafana squad in training.MEDIA CONTACTS • Margeret BlanksonThe Aaron Mokoena Foundation+44 208 150 6679• Morio SanyaneSafa communications director+27 82 990 0835RELATED ARTICLES• Bafana final squad announced• Centre for SA’s future football stars• A brief history of Bafana Bafana• Glitzy Captain’s dinner planned• Grassroots football alive and kickingRay MaotaAaron Mokoena, the captain of South Africa’s national football team, Bafana Bafana and UK Premier League club Portsmouth, will receive the Freedom of the City of London on 10 November 2010.The award, which will be presented to Mokoena at a ceremony in the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall in London, acknowledges his contribution to the sport and charity, through the Aaron Mokoena Foundation.It is one of the highest honours given to an individual in the City of London.“This is a great honour for me and it’s one of my biggest achievements, one I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Mokoena said.Andrew Parmley, chairperson of the Board of Governors for both the London School for Girls and the Guildhall School of Music, nominated Mokoena after he met the South Africa skipper during President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to the UK earlier this year.“I was impressed by what Aaron has achieved in his football career as captain of South Africa and Portsmouth FC, and by his determination to ensure young people in South Africa have access to sport and education opportunities through his charitable foundation,” said Parmley in a statement.Praise for ‘Mbazo’Mokoena, whose crunching tackles have earned him the nickname Mbazo, which is isiZulu for axe, has also impressed his Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane. “I am proud of his achievements. He has been a great servant of the national team and a wonderful ambassador for South African football abroad. In my view no one is more deserving of the honour,” Mosimane said.“This honour does not come as a surprise to me. He is a special player and a special person and we just hope this will serve as an inspiration to many players out there that whatever you set your mind to, you can make it,” added Mosimane.CEO of the South African Football Association Leslie Sedibe said the association was happy to see one of its players making a meaningful contribution to ordinary lives.“It’s good for Mbazo and we congratulate him in advance for getting the freedom of London,” said Sedibe.David Lampitt, Portsmouth’s CEO, described Mokoena as a great role model for all young people and all Portsmouth fans.“The club has been fully supportive of the work Aaron is undertaking in South Africa through his foundation, and congratulates him on this wonderful accolade,” Lampitt said.Kaizer Motaung, owner of South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, told the Sowetan newspaper that it was good for Mokoena to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Doctor Steve “Kalamazoo” Mokone.Mokone is well-known for representing South African football talent abroad during the apartheid years.“Aaron Mokoena’s achievement has therefore crowned a successful career in the tough English football fraternity, and is worthy of receiving our full respect. I just hope other youngsters will emulate such heroic feats that demonstrate the quality of our exports, which have raised the standard of our football abroad,” said Motaung.Career Mokoena is the youngest capped player in South African football history, having been first selected for the national team at age 17. Since then, he’s played for Bafana Bafana 104 times. Mokoena led the squad during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the first tournament of its kind to be held on African soil.In addition to Bafana and Portsmouth, Mbazo, now aged 29, has played for a number of other prominent clubs, including Ajax Amsterdam, KRC Genk, and Blackburn Rovers.Making a differenceThe Aaron Mokoena Foundation was launched “… with the aspiration of making a real sustainable difference to young people in South Africa using the power of football,” according to the charity.It was launched as a non-profit organisation in South Africa in 2009.The foundation focuses on improving education, health and life opportunities for underprivileged young South Africans. It does this through a coaching programme and campaigns in targeted communities and schools.Through the foundation, Makoena is also hoping to establish a football academy in Gauteng province.History of awardAccording to the City of London, the first Freedom of the City was presented in 1237 and is one of the oldest traditional ceremonies still practised today. Other notable recipients of the award include Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, Luciano Pavarotti, Florence Nightingale and Winston Churchill.
If waters from the Almatti dam in north Karnataka had been released on time, people of Kolhapur and Sangli would not have had to endure the the devastating floods, said Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Wednesday, while stressing that a permanent solution to the problem must be found through proper coordination with the neighbouring State.Mr. Pawar was on a tour of the worst-hit talukas in Kolhapur and Sangli district. “There is an urgent need for the Central government to hold talks with both States on this matter. There was no proper communication and coordination between the two governments this time,” he said, speaking in Kolhapur’s Shirol taluk.The NCP chief said the magnitude of the floods was unprecedented and that it was a mistake to take the water level of the 2005 floods as the ‘danger mark’. He urged the government to undertake a massive construction drive of building new and durable houses for the flood-affected population akin to the rehabilitation efforts post the 1993 Latur earthquake. “Thousands of homes and structures have been weakened by the floods, even at a higher altitude. With the onset of summer, these structures will crumble under the severe heat. So, new houses must be built by the State under Central government schemes,” Mr. Pawar said.He pushed for a complete overhauling of village infrastructure in terms of roads, water supply, electricity — all of which had been thrown awry by the deluge.Expressing concern for farm labourers, The NCP chief urged the government to ensure that they received work through employment guarantee schemes. He also reiterated on the need for a complete loan waiver, as the two districts are the most important sugar-producing regions in the State.“The factories will have to decide what to do with the destroyed sugarcane crop. They will also have to arrange to pay for seedlings as the farmers will have to plant a fresh crop,” he said.“We urge the State to grant a complete loan waiver for farmers for the present fiscal. We demand that a fresh crop loan be granted so that agriculturists can undertake cultivation in the affected areas,” he said, adding that the condition of the flood-affected people is taluks like Shirol was pitiable despite the large-scale relief efforts.Mr. Pawar said that as the deluge had hit everyone — from farmer to the small trader — loans must be waived off for all of them.He also rebuked the governement and administration for failing to fulfill its task of distributing flood aid. “A lot of aid is being sent by individuals, outfits, trusts, political parties from all over the State. But it appears that this help is not reaching the flood-affected people. In some instances, relief trucks were being stopped and the aid was being siphoned off,” Mr. Pawar said.Saying that the floods were not an occasion for playing politics, the NCP chief took potshots at the ministers and leaders of the BJP government, saying that it was deplorable that elected representatives of the government were holding ‘token 15-minute meetings’ in flood-hit areas.