Vuvuzelas could be banned in S Africa

Vuvuzelas could be banned in South African soccer grounds unless fans of the country's most popular club, Kaizer Chiefs, improve their behaviour, officials have warned.

Kaizer Chiefs were given a record fine of 500,000 rand ($72,130) -- suspended for 12 months -- and their chairman was ordered to make a public apology after supporters threw two vuvuzelas and a cabbage on to the pitch during a recent cup game against Moroka Swallows.

"Should vuvuzelas continue to be used as missiles they could be banned from PSL (Premier Soccer League) matches," the league's prosecutor Zola Majavu told a news conference.

"If a Chiefs fan so much as throws a piece of bread on to the pitch, Chiefs will forfeit the 500,000 rand."

The club, whose fans have taken credit for making the noisy plastic vuvuzela trumpets a popular part of South African football culture, were ordered to pay costs of 21,000 rand for the disciplinary hearing and told to hold a news conference to denounce spectator misbehaviour.

A German’s way to mark a marathon anniversary

German social worker Juergen Mennel arrived in Athens on Thursday after running 2,200 kms in 30 days to mark the 2,500th anniversary of the battle of Marathon.

Mennel, 50, arrived at the Panathenaic marble stadium where he was greeted by Greece's culture and tourism minister Pavlos Geroulanos at a special ceremony.

"It was a great feeling to finally get to the great stadium. I am very honoured by the reception and just happy to have arrived," Mennel told Reuters.

"It was getting a bit much with all the media attention during the run but I'm very proud.
“The training was incredibly difficult. There were days when I thought that I would have to stop because I'm not a machine but I was prepared mentally and kept going."

Mennel had planned to cover the distance from his home in Heilbronn, southwest Germany, in 27 days and in the end was three days over his estimate.

London’s stadium loses its sheen

Plans to surround London's Olympic stadium with an eye-catching fabric wrap have been scrapped after a spending review by the British government but the overall Games budget has been unaffected.

"It is non essential and cannot be justified in the current financial climate," a spokesman for the Department of Culture and Sport (DCMS) told reporters.

The 516 million pounds ($811.3 million) stadium had been designed with the wrap covering the steel girders and grey concrete seating and would have allowed for colourful images and slogans to light up the east London venue at night.

By scrapping the idea, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will make a further seven million pounds in savings while another 13 million pounds will be trimmed in efficiency savings as Britain tightens its belt.

Best medal fetches big price at auction

A 1968 European Cup winner's medal awarded to Manchester United great George Best sold for 156,000 pounds ($247,000) at an auction last week.

The medal, which Bonhams had expected to fetch 90-120,000 pounds, was presented after United's 4-1 win over Benfica when they became the first English team to win the European Cup.

The medal was among 13 awards presented to Northern Ireland international Best during his career which were auctioned at Bonhams by the executors of his estate.

The proceeds from the sale of the times, which totalled 200,000 pounds, will go to Best's sister Barbara McNally, according to sources.

A replica of the European Cup winner's medal, made for Best when he misplaced the original, fetched 9,000 pounds, Bonhams said.

Belfast-born Best made 470 appearances for United between 1963 and 1974, scoring 179 goals, but after leaving the club his glittering career went into decline as his celebrity lifestyle began to take its toll.

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