South African Sports Schedule To Return To Normal Routine Following Mandela Funeral
Sport in South Africa is "set to return to normal" on Monday after the funeral of Nelson Mandela, with the "much-anticipated cricket series" against India and an end to the first half of the domestic football season "dominating a busy pre-Christmas period," according to Mark Gleeson of REUTERS. Memorials plus "wet somber weather, necessitated change in schedules, but no one seemed to mind." Bloemfontein Celtic "saw their fixtures for the rest of the year change as the South African Premier Soccer League adjusted their schedule." Bloemfontein Celtic coach Ernst Middendorp said, "We understand that one of the most iconic figures in the world must be remembered." The week "was marked by a massive outpouring of recollections over the role Mandela played in restoring South Africa to international competition after the Apartheid era and his use of national teams to try and foster reconciliation across the color barrier." Monday, which is a public holiday in South Africa, "will see an set of football fixtures and Wednesday marks the start of the first cricket test between South Africa and India at Johannesburg's Wanderers stadium." The Indian cricketers "were due to play a two-day warm-up match on Saturday and Sunday but the game was advanced by a day to avoid a clash with Mandela's funeral in Qunu on Sunday" (REUTERS, 12/15).