South Africa given 48-hour deadline to decide Rugby Championship participation

By Sports Desk October 14, 2020

South Africa have been given a 48-hour deadline to decide whether they will compete in the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks are due to start the defence of their title against Argentina at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on November 7.

Rugby South Africa (RSA) last week said "several hurdles needed to be cleared" before the organisation can confirm that the world champions will feature in the four-nation competition.

Concerns have been raised over a lack of playing time for South Africa players due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tournament organisers SANZAAR on Wednesday stated that a decision must be made within two days.

A SANZAAR statement said: "The SANZAAR member unions have agreed to provide South Africa Rugby with an additional 48 hours to finalise its internal stakeholder discussions.

"This will now delay the scheduled departure of the Springboks from South Africa to Australia.

"SANZAAR will provide an update on the resolution of these discussions and a timetable for the Springboks participation in the Rugby Championship when available in the coming days."

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    Maradona passed away at the age of 60 on Wednesday, his lawyer confirming he died of natural causes.

    Shortly after news of Maradona's death, Atleti kicked-off against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League, with the Group A clash ending 0-0.

    Simeone was in the Argentina squad with the Napoli legend at the 1994 World Cup, having also been a team-mate of the mercurial midfielder at Sevilla in 1992-93.

    "It's hard. When they call you on the phone and tell you that Diego passed away, you think, 'Diego cannot die'," Simeone told a news conference.

    "A myth is leaving us, an Argentine who transmitted all his rebellion to fight with his positive and negative things, but always going forward. The way to get excited about playing soccer was by looking at him.

    "He welcomed me in a spectacular way in Seville, I was young. The moment they tell you about this situation [Maradona dying] you say, 'It can't be, he can always come out.'

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    While Simeone mourned the death of his former team-mate and one of Argentina's most famous players, he also had to contend with a frustrating display from his Atleti team.

    Atleti registered 20 attempts against Lokomotiv yet could not find the net – it is the most shots a team has amassed in a Champions League match this season without scoring.

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    Argentina v England (June 22, 1986)

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    The moment of magic arrived four minutes after the infamous 'Hand of God' goal and helped Argentina into the semi-finals of the 1986 World Cup, which they went on to win.

     

    Argentina v Belgium (June 25, 1986)

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    Napoli v Juventus (November 3, 1985)

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    Napoli v Hellas Verona (October 20, 1985)

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    Boca Juniors v River Plate (April 10, 1981)

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    "It was a banner in Argentina I think, one year ago I read it. It said, no matter what you have done in your life Diego, it matters what you have done for our lives.

    "I think it fits perfectly with what this guy gave us. The man of joy, the pleasure, and his commitment to world football, he made world football better.

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    Carlo Ancelotti regularly played against Maradona during his stint in Italy, and the three-time Champions League-winning manager also offered his tribute.

    "You were always a genius. Today is a very sad day and a great loss, but you my friend are eternal," Ancelotti, now in charge of Everton, posted on his official Instagram account.

    "Ciao Diego. Rest In Peace."

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