'Drunken' Sonn under fire for swearing during match

Published: Friday, February 14, 2003, 0:00 [IST]
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Johannesburg: South African cricket chief Percy Sonn was under fire here on Thursday after accusations that he got drunk and swore while watching a World Cup match. Sonn, the president of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA), was told by politicians to apologise for his behaviour at the game between India and the Netherlands at Paarl on Wednesday.

New National Party MP Adriaan van Jaarsveld said Sonn should say sorry for "the embarrassment he has created for South Africa." "As president of the United Cricket Board he should know that South Africa has a two- fold responsibility, being one of the host countries and a representative of Africa he should send out the right message," said Van Jaarsveld. According to a report in the Afrikaans daily, 'Beeld', racing driver Sarel van der Merwe had witnessed how Sonn "literally fell out of his pants" and staggered about among the Boland Park private suites.

"One could see that the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who was there as his guest, was most embarrassed," Van der Merwe is reported to have said. Sonn is no stranger to controversy. On Tuesday, he insisted that South Africa should boycott its tour of England later this year in retaliation for the English refusing to honour its World Cup fixture in Harare. The SAPA news agency quoted Van Jaarsveld as saying, "Irresponsible remarks and empty threats against English cricket players contribute to the embarrassment he has created for South Africa.

"His conduct does not a fit a man of his position and stature. He should be an example for players and spectators." UCBSA chief executive officer Gerald Majola said he was aware of the reports and that he would hold talks with Sonn about the alleged incident. "I have spoken with Percy and he will get the opportunity to discuss the matter with the UCB general council in the next few days," said Majola.


AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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