A scene from More Than Just a Game, a film that told the story of ex-political prisoners Mark Shinners, Anthony Suze, Lizo Sitoto, Sedick Isaacs and Marcus Solomon. (Image: More Than Just a Game) Fifa honoured Makana FA founders in 2007 by making the association its honorary member. (Image: Fifa) Minister Tokyo Sexwale kicking a ball in Ekangala recently, reminding himself of his playing days in Robben Island. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Chris Johnston Media Officer De Montfort University +44 116 207 8010 RELATED ARTICLES • Top honour for Bafana captain • National Orders recipients named • Chancellor House to honour icons • South Africa: a top film locationBongani NkosiPlaying football was a form of escapism for Robben Island’s political prisoners, bringing them temporary relief from their incarceration by the apartheid government.More than 300 men used to gather at the grounds on the island to play their favourite sport in a league administrated by Makana Football Association, which was formed and run by the prisoners.Now the UK’s De Montfort University is to honour four struggle heroes who campaigned to bring the Beautiful Game to the island in the mid-1960s, then a hard labour prison.Mark Shinners, Sedick Isaacs, Lizo Sitoto and Marcus Solomon, icons from both the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania and the African National Congress, will be honoured with the Companionship of De Montfort University at a graduation ceremony in Leicester on 22 July 2011.The university will honour the four in recognition of the role they played in “giving new hope to the prisoners of the notorious Robben Island, through playing the popular game”, it said.Besides a gala dinner at the university, the group will also be treated to tours of the world-famous Wembley Stadium and Houses of Parliament in London. The South African High Commission will also honour them at South Africa House in Trafalgar Square. It took the men three years to convince apartheid officials to allow prisoners, some then only in their 20s, to play football on the island. At first the men were punished for making such an appeal, and had to go a weekend without food.Running Makana FAThe Makana Football Association was founded after authorities relented in 1967. A disciplinary committee, as well as a referees’ union, were formed as part of the association.Up to 27 teams competed in the league, which stuck to stringent Fifa guidelines. The international federation honoured its founders in 2007 by making Makana Association an honorary member.While Rivonia Treason Trialists including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada were barred from participating and even watching matches, then-youngsters like Jacob Zuma, Tokyo Sexwale and the four De Montfort University honoraries took to the field as players.Today Zuma is president of South Africa and Sexwale the minister of human settlements.“We were also young at that time, full of energy, and we needed to expend that energy,” Sitoto said in an interview published on the Fifa website in 2007.“We wanted to get closer to one another because we were in different areas of the prison, and one way to do this was through sport.”The political activists treated the football association “not just as an escape from the relentless and exhaustive regime on the island, but as a practice at running a government”, noted De Montfort University.Visiting Professor Charles Korr at the university’s International Centre for Sports History and Culture has documented in detail the story of the four unsung heroes. He co-authored the book More Than Just a Game and co-produced a film of the same title. “(Football) helped them to retain their sense of dignity and to continue the fight to create a free, non-racist South Africa,” Korr said in a statement.“Winning the right to play football and successfully maintaining a league gave them one link to the pleasures of ordinary life before imprisonment,” he added. The road to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which was successfully held in South Africa, actually started on Robben Island, local organising committee boss Danny Jordaan commented recently.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “It’s very heartwarming because we’re getting a lot of volunteers among the PBA players,” Barrios said during the event launch Thursday at Bonifacio High Street. Do not bring these items in SEA Games venues BI on alert for illegally deployed OFWs to Iraq 8th Top Leaders Forum assessed the progress of public-private efforts in building climate and disaster resilient communities Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Asian shares slide on weak Japan data; US markets closed Padda, Lady Falcons relish pressure from school officials LATEST STORIES View comments Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding SBP president Al Panlilio FILE PHOTOThe Fiba 3×3 World Cup just might be a teaser for the Philippine hosting of the 2023 World Cup, but Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) expects to draw record crowds just the same for the event slated June 8 to 12.“We’re excited because there will be 40 teams from different countries coming over to the Philippines,” said SBP president Al Panlilio. “3×3 is basketball, but played differently. It’s equally exciting.”ADVERTISEMENT Games will be played at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan—which has a seat capacity of 55,000—so SBP hopes to set a 3×3 crowd attendance record.The Philippines previously hosted the Fiba 3×3 World Tour events for club teams that saw packed audiences at SM Megamall in Ortigas and Robinsons Place Manila as PBA stars like Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva represented the country.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“One of the things we viewed as important was the success of the World Tours in the two malls in the previous years,” said Fiba managing director Alex Sanchez. “We would like to give the event a strong push for the Filipinos to see if they can develop a strong program to be in Tokyo 2020 (Olympics).”SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said aside from Romeo and Abueva, past 3×3 players like Troy Rosario, Mac Belo, Glenn Khobuntin, Karl Dehesa, Russel Escoto, Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng head the list of candidates.
TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Inaugural 3X3 league tips off February 16 SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Andy Murray of Britain celebrates after beating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in their men’s semifinal singles match on day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is likely to be honored with a statue at the historic Grand Slam venue, the All England Club’s chief executive told the BBC.The 31-year-old Scot — who won the grasscourt Grand Slam in 2013 and 2016 — announced last Friday retirement was on the cards due to a chronic hip injury.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ “I am sure something like (a statue) will be done, but meanwhile down at the club he is seen as a highly-respected person both on and off the court.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting He then choked back tears and broke down as he revealed he hoped to end his career at Wimbledon, but admitted the Australian Open which began Monday could be his last event because the constant pain was so bad.Richard Lewis, chief executive of the All England Club, said Murray could well be honored in the same manner as fellow Briton and multiple Wimbledon men’s singles champion Fred Perry.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsPerry — who won three successive Wimbledon titles from 1934-36 — had a statue unveiled in 1984.“We always felt that when Andy retired, that would be the appropriate time to recognise his extraordinary career,” said Lewis.