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Boks’ Loss Predetermined? Tim Noakes Calls for Probe

Challenging BeliefsSouth Africa’s foremost sports expert, Tim Noakes, has called for an investigation into the South Africa vs Australia Rugby World Cup quarter final which, he argues, seems to have been “predetermined”. According to Noakes, it is the duty of the International Rugby Board to provide a report accounting for the actions of referee Bryce Lawrence who failed to issue a number of penalties during the match. Said Noakes: “I think an injustice has been done and South Africa as a nation deserves the truth.”

A prominent sports professor has challenged the International Rugby Board (IRB) to launch an investigation into the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between South Africa and Australia, saying the match was “bent” with a “predetermined outcome before kick- off”.

Professor Tim Noakes, head of the University of Cape Town’s Exercise and Sports Science Department, said in a hard-hitting interview that it was the IRB’s duty to provide a detailed response on the actions of referee Bryce Lawrence, who failed to issue a number of penalties in Sunday’s match.

Noakes said he did not want to sensationalise anything but the South African public needed to know the truth about what lay behind the lack of decision by Lawrence.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    October 14th, 2011 @20:09 #
     
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    Has anyone out there got John Coetzee's article on rugby, or Stephen Watson's? Old as they are, they must be around somewhere. Maybe they can help us get rid of our obsession with all this ball-waving and flag-kicking stuff.

    And nonsense.

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    October 15th, 2011 @07:29 #
     
  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    October 15th, 2011 @08:30 #
     
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    Thanks, Rustum. Watson's? It's older, but very funny: probably only exists in hardcopy - if I remember, it includes a suggestion that the movement of the ball from the scrum through the threequarters was analogous to a woman giving birth...and he liked rugby: as a younker he was Speedy Watson the wing. Might have come out in that shortlived mag, Inspan. Isabel Hofmeyr might know, or Welma Odendaal. During apartheid, the difference between the Jhb and CT lefts was that the former hated rugby, the latter loved it. The SB and left would apparently see each other in the crowd at Newlands every Saturday. The mind boggles.

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  • <a href="http://saradias.co.za/blog/" rel="nofollow">Sara P. Dias</a>
    Sara P. Dias
    October 15th, 2011 @11:04 #
     
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    The comments above sound like more academic ivory-tower sentencing being passed on the enthusiasms of mere mortals.

    In what lies the reward for being contemptuous of passions we don’t share and therefore don’t understand, I wonder. I often feel disdain for religious zealots, especially because most see the world in terms of self-righteous US and damned-to-Hell THEM, even though I understand that religion is probably necessary for faith in humankind and hope for survival. I also understand this: in denying people’s [mostly harmless] passions I also invalidate their humanity, and that doesn’t contribute anything towards any kind of progressive engagement.

    Could our scorn be positive self-reinforcement in that we can feel intellectually and morally superior to our neighbours? That would make us the equal of religious fanatics, because it is all about US, and not really about THEM at all.

    --

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  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    October 15th, 2011 @12:14 #
     
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    Goodness gracious me, Susara. Nationalism is a harmless passion? Manipulation of emotion to serve the ends of money, a harmless passion? Which universe are you living in?

    Also an interesting comment, on a book site. It's not the academic ivory towerists who boast that 'I never read a book in my life' - it's one of our cricketers. It's not the AIT who say the 'most boring thing I can think of doing is going to a poetry reading' - it's one of our cricket coaches. Who exactly is being scornful here?

    I have no problem with people throwing their balls around. I do have a problem, however, with those who put it forward as some kind of social therapy, or positive social good. Throwing a ball around is simply that: throwing a ball around. Catch?

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  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    October 15th, 2011 @13:39 #
     
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    Fanon's interesting on sport:

    'But the Youth Commissioners in underdeveloped countries often make the mistake of imagining their role to be that of those in fully developed countries. They speak of strengthening the soul, of developing the body, and of facilitating the growth of sportmanlike qualities. It is our opinion that they should beware of these conceptions....The youth of Africa ought not to be sent to sport stadia but into the fields and into the schools. The stadium ought not to be a showpiece erected in the towns, but a bit of open ground in the midst of the fields that the young people must reclaim, cultivate and give to the nation. The capitalist conception of sport is fundamentally different from that which should exist in an underdeveloped country. The African politician should not be preoccupied with turning out sportspeople, but with turning out fully conscious people, who play sports as well. If games are not integrated into the national life ... and if you turn out national sportspeople but not fully conscious people, you will very quickly see sport rotted by professionalism and commercialism....We ought not to cultivate the exceptional or to seek for a hero, who is another form of leader. We ought to uplift the people; we must develop their brains, fill them with ideas, change them and make them into human beings.'

    IMO the other point of relevance here is the old saw: bread and circuses. That's what's being done here - and sport is especially useful, because there's not too much bread.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    October 16th, 2011 @01:02 #
     
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    Kelwyn, Kelwyn, Kelwyn: time to reread yr CLR James. (He wrote Beyond a Boundary at the same time that Fanon was writing The Wretched of the Earth, and I firmly believe that anyone who studies post-colonialism 101 has to read both -- they balance each other perfectly, laying the foundation for Said to come.)

    In fact, I think everyone should read Beyond A Boundary: famous quotation, "What do they know of cricket, who only cricket know?"

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  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    October 17th, 2011 @09:01 #
     
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    Helen, sport has changed enormously over the last two or three decades - watch old cricket videos; it's like watching The Invasion of the Martians it's so otherwordly e.g. re dress, behaviour of the crowd, even shots played. And as for the distant past (I still long for the prelapsarian days when SA had four spin bowlers in their team who all could bowl googlies), what one sees is a steady process of the taking over of cultural and recreational spaces by the purveyors of bling and profit, in sport and all other spheres ('the music suffers, baby / the music business thrives' ... Paul Simon). My ur-text here would be Marx, about the steady invasion of the logic of profit into all forms of private and public life. Our present cricket bosses have clearly worked this out.

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  • <a href="http://mayafowler.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Maya</a>
    Maya
    October 17th, 2011 @09:49 #
     
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    October 17th, 2011 @09:55 #
     
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    Great link, Maya :)

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  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    October 17th, 2011 @15:04 #
     
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    You know, it's not about whether sport is pleasurable or not, or injects enthusiasm into people or not, or is good for you or not ... what I'm objecting to is sport being seen as acceptable as an instrument for promoting nationalism and patriotism, or as a ready source of 'icons' for kids. I'm sorry; James notwithstanding, the fact that sport can promote feelings of pride in the midst of underdevelopment doesn't alter this.

    There's more than a whiff of bullying in all this, and maybe it's time to do a little bullying back. I'm tired of people who wouldn't know a leg glance from a leg glide or a threequarter from a hindquarter accusing critics of the sports-funfair of lack of patriotism, zealotry etc. IMO it makes a hell of a lot more sense, if one is patriotic, getting involved in fighting the numerous abuses prevalent in this country at the moment, than feeling holier-than-thou over waving a little flag at a 20-20 match.

    The whole issue of role models also pertains. There are sportspeople in history who were admirable: literate, thoughtful, humble, socially active - Gene Tunney would be an immediate example - but there are more than a dollop of airheads and oxygen thieves as well. Considerably more than a dollop (one of the SA cricketers interviewed the other night seemed to know only two words: 'sponsor' and 'corporate').

    If sport is that serious, perhaps we should go back to da roots and emulate the Mayans' version of soccer - sacrifice the losing team. Among other things, this may help transformation.

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  • <a href="http://www.christhurman.net" rel="nofollow">Chris Thurman</a>
    Chris Thurman
    October 17th, 2011 @15:18 #
     
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    I've been "out of the game" for a while - the BooksLIVE game, that is, but also the SA sports scene - and have only recently returned to the country, so I'll have to read up more on the post-World Cup fallout to comment intelligently here. But I did want to say:

    1) Kelwyn, if and when I edit a "Sport versus Art 2", will you contribute? I like your "bullying back", even if I don't agree with you on all points. Helen will no doubt concur with this idea...

    2a) Could the Rugby 24 web editors possibly have found a less flattering photo of Tim Noakes?

    2b) Could the Rugby 24 journo possibly have butchered the English language any worse than he/she has in that article?

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  • <a href="http://kelwynsole.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kelwyn Sole</a>
    Kelwyn Sole
    October 17th, 2011 @15:32 #
     
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    Sure, Chris, as long as you don't mind epics, in rhyming couplets.
    ('Please don't shave your head, or go off your rocker / Just save it for next time you plan to watch soccer'.... etc etc. Many sports provide multiple and interesting rhyming possibilities, which I will not go into out of delicacy).

    Actually, I'm a huge fan of ice hockey - when I grew up, there was a great league playing at the Wembley Stadium in Jo'burg, that included aging swiss, german, canadian, austrian ex-internationals..... . My team was called Edelweiss. Put that in your postcolonial pipe and smoke it.

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  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    October 17th, 2011 @22:36 #
     
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    Good point re history, Kelwyn, although I suspect that the vast majority of cricket played around the globe is on beaches and maidans and dusty streets and bumpy fields (can't speak for other sports, tho) -- and I might be an incurable romantic, but the values that prevail in these games are ones that James might recognise...

    Chris, a sequel? Yay! And altho that piece on Rugby 24 is not exactly aesthetic, it does sound more like the Tim I know and love...

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