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Surely there were candidates more deserving of People’s Choice nomination than Percy Tau

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Tau had a difficult Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with Bafana and he has struggled for game time with Al Ahly, bringing into question how exactly these categories are made up. Especially those that require the public to vote – a public that can easily be influenced by a popular name.

Percy Muzi Tau of South Africa during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations match against Nigeria at Peace Stadium in Bouake, Cote DIvoire on 07 February 2024. Picture: Weam Mostafa, BackpagePix

Obakeng Meletse

THE MAMELODI Sundowns duo of Ronwen Williams and Teboho Mokoena will be left on the sidelines as Bafana Bafana teammate Percy Tau heads to the Sun City Superbowl in North West for the SA Sports Awards.

Bafana striker Tau is one of five nominees for the People’s Choice Award, and he will be looking to add to the CAF Inter-club Player of the Year Award he won last year, after a good season with Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

Among a host of other awards to be handed out on the night, the public, through voting, will determine who is the winner of the People’s Choice Award.

The choice of winner of the award is based solely on their votes. Tau had a difficult Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with Bafana and he has struggled for game time with Al Ahly, bringing into question how exactly these categories are made up. Especially those that require the public to vote – a public that can easily be influenced by a popular name.

The Afcon semi-finalist will be scrapping for top spot on the podium with the Rugby World Cup-winning duo of Eben Etzebeth and captain Siya Kolisi, who is also nominated for Sports Star of the Year.

South African marathon and ultra-marathon athlete Gerda Steyn, along with sailor Kirsten Neuschafe, complete the list of the five nominees.

Famously known as the Lion of Judah, Tau’s inclusion among award nominees could be a classic case of “form is temporary but class is permanent”, though with his current struggles, the numbers say the opposite. With only five appearances and four goals – and eight continental matches that have yielded only one goal – he has lacked the nobility, strength and bravery associated with his nickname.

Mokoena and Williams were the standout performers for Bafana in a third-place finish at the Afcon tournament earlier this year. Williams, in particular, has been a pillar of strength for his club and country, especially this season, and you wonder if such performances and achievements didn’t warrant some form of recognition. What is it that has to be done?

Sundowns have been a force of growth on the continent, with consistent performances in CAF competitions. Domestically, they have been wiping the floor with their Dstv Premiership competitors for the past six years, and have secured another league title to add to their African Football League win earlier this season – and Williams has been the chief smooth operator within that success.

A player with Tau’s capabilities will always find his way back to form, as the experience he has gathered over the years will see him through the rough patch he’s currently going through. But it’s a slap in the face for those youngsters who have played a huge role in changing views on South African football, but are not nominated for any of the awards.

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