Saturday, 02 May 2020 17:30

 

SAFA President Dr Danny Joordan,Photo Credit: Lee Warren.

South African Football Association have expressed concern over allegations of vicious and orchestrated campaign that has been levelled against the association and its leadership during the nationwide lockdown.

On Friday, a letter was circulated to the Minister of Sport, SAFA officials and SAFA regions. The letter outlines grievances mainly around non-payment of various allowances which by this time should have been paid out to clubs. 

The letter also tells of a plan to migrate from Safa to the National Soccer League which runs South Africa's professional leagues (Premier Soccer League and First Division League - the GladAfrica Championship).

However SAFA believe's that there is an orchestrated campaign against its leadership over the following reasons:

1.   The allegations come within days of each other with a former CEO having given an interview to a Sunday newspaper with a litany of accusations.

2.      It is important to note that the accusations are made by individuals who have lost their positions within SAFA through lawful termination of their contracts, in this case through retirement at the age of 65 in spite of SAFA retirement age of 60 years and the expiry of a fixed term contract.

3.       During the nationwide lockdown SAFA is unable to operate or convene meetings of the national executive committee

4.      The aforementioned members held senior positions in the organisation over many years and have been party to the most important decisions.

5.      They must know by running with unfounded and untested allegations to the media, it does not validate or make them factual.

6.      They have served on SAFA structures for many years and having submitted glowing reports to SAFA NEC, SAFA Congress, CAF and FIFA over many years, they now want us to believe their allegations loaded with ulterior motives.

7.      To make allegations now, they are aware that it is a serious breach of their fiduciary duty by not reporting these allegations while they occupied their respective offices.

8.   The first salvo in this campaign was fired by these disgruntled officials placing various allegations to the SABC. This attempt however, gained little traction and was largely ignored. Allegations are now also placed with Sunday newspapers.

9.       In the meantime, the NEC has approved the cooperation agreement between the Qatar FA as well as the Russian FA.

Safa has also responded to the damning allegations made in an unsigned document purportedly authored by some lower league clubs‚ claiming Motsepe (third-tier) and SAB (fourth-tier) League teams have not been paid travel allowances and prizemoney are as a result of “cash flow problems”‚ and are being addressed.

Safa communications manager Dominic Chimhavi said those cash flow issues are related to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the association financially.

Chimhavi called the authors of the unsigned letter an “illegal structure”.

The letter alleges that some Motsepe League teams have not been paid travel allowances for “three seasons‚ if not more”‚ that SAB League teams “have not received prizemoney for seasons”‚ and that lower league referees have not received payments of travel allowances.

It alleges Safa undertook to provide two new kits each season‚ and this only happened once.

It questions whether the sponsors‚ the Motsepe Foundation and South African Breweries (SAB)‚ have honoured their financial commitments.

The authors state: “The teams therefore demand the formation of a National Second Division League‚ divided into two streams under the management of the National Soccer League [the PSL is the NSL’s trading name] with effect from the 2020-21 season.”

Meanwhile the Premier Soccer League (PSL) said is in discussions with the Minister of Sports and Recreation Nathi Mthethwa about possibilities of resumption of the league programme. PSL chairman, Irvin Khoza, informed Independent Media that they are set for an important engagement with Mthethwa next week.