NEWS
27/02/2018 12:16 SAST | Updated 27/02/2018 12:17 SAST

Catfished! Usain Bolt 'Almost Joins Mamelodi Sundowns'!

Crossed wires leading to silly rumour, or brilliant PR move? You decide...

James Oatway / Reuters

Jamaican sprinter and Olympic great Usain Bolt has traded his spiked shoes for football boots, announcing that he will be joining and captaining the Soccer Aid World XI team.

The team, made up of former football legends and other celebrities, will come together in a charity game for Soccer Aid for Unicef.

The big story, though, is perhaps not the team he joined, but the team he could have joined – speculation ran riot on Monday, when Bolt announced on Twitter that he would be "joining a football team".

Worldwide media – including CNN, Fox Sports and Sky News – all pointed fingers at South African side Mamelodi Sundowns, because Bolt was spending a few days visiting and training with the team while in SA on a promotional tour for his sponsors, Puma. His reference to joining a football team, many felt, obviously related to his trip.

The former African champions took ownership of the rumours and added fuel to the fire, by hinting that Bolt might indeed join the Tshwane side – cheekily tweeting: "Football will never be the same" accompanied by a picture of Bolt.

South African Twitter predictably lit up at the prospect of Bolt playing in South Africa, but he had us all catfished.

The rumours look more like a very clever PR move by Sundowns or Puma – because the whole world was suddenly talking about Bolt in South Africa, and asking who Mamelodi Sundowns were.

Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medallist, has made no secret of his admiration of football, saying he has always wanted to be a professional – and now he'll get the chance to prove himself against former pros (and Robbie Williams) in a charity format.

Getty Images

South African Twitter in the end was quite appreciative of the PR move – especially Sundowns fans.