SPORTS AGENDA; SA Angry as Leeds Block Radebe Trip
Sale, Charles, Daily Mail (London)
Byline: CHARLES SALE
SPORTING relations between South Africa and England, already frosty over the disruption the England and Wales Cricket Board have caused at the World Cup, have hit a new low because Leeds have refused to release the Republic's football captain Lucas Radebe for international duty.
South Africa wanted the Leeds central defender to attend a training camp in Spain this week for the country's European-based players.
In a heated exchange of faxes, the South Africans cited FIFA laws guaranteeing players' release during international weeks.
But Leeds, mirroring the ECB's concentration on legal minutiae over the Zimbabwe issue, based their refusal on the fact that the South Africans are training rather than playing a match in Spain.
Leeds secretary Ian Silvester wrote: 'Please observe that article 38 of FIFA regulations refers to players playing for national associations' representative sides and not training - therefore we are not at liberty to release Lucas.' Bafana Bafana spokesman Albert Mokoena said from Spain: 'We are upset that Lucas is not with us. Leeds have interpreted the rules purely to their advantage.' Radebe, one of the World Cup's sports ambassadors, attended the opening ceremony in Cape Town and had been expected to join up with the South African squad in Spain.
PERCY SONN, president of the South African cricket board, who has spent the last week making disparaging remarks about the English, was allegedly at it again at a reception on Wednesday night. But it's not just Sonn who doesn't think much of us. The Afrikaans-language newspaper in Cape Town, Die Burger, had a cartoon showing a group of British soldiers complaining they didn't want to fight in Iraq. …