SAFA CIVIL WAR SIMMERING

MATTHEW MARCUS IN CAPE TOWN

2022-05-13T07:00:00.0000000Z

2022-05-13T07:00:00.0000000Z

African News Agency

http://diamondfieldsadvertiser.pressreader.com/article/281569474322726

SPORT

THE BATTLE for the South African Football Association (Safa) has begun and it looks like mense are prepared to give it all they’ve got. Ai, another story about Safa’s shenanigans? Don’t worry it’ll be good and not that long. I promise. This week, Safa vice-president Ria Ledwaba was set to launch her run for presidency against incumbent Danny Jordaan. But come the owner of defunct club Ria Stars’s media briefing on Tuesday, she was already benched. Why? Dirty tactics. Jordaan threatened to disqualify her from the elections if she showed up. According to Safa rules for presidential candidates, “nominated persons cannot publicly present themselves before the final list of nominees has been approved by the governance committee”. While it may seem like a big mistake by Ledwaba’s team, you only have to think back to rule changes from earlier this year to Safa’s constitution over people who are eligible to run for presidency. With Jordaan in charge of Safa since 2013, he has seen off many threats to his power. Former ref Ace Ncobo tried. Bafana Bafana legend Lucas Radebe tried. But they failed due to the sort of technicality that stopped Ledwaba from appearing at her launch. Ncobo and Radebe were blocked because of the fact that they were not linked to a club. Fair enough. But they are football men through and through. I can’t say the same about other administrators. But wait, it gets better. Even with Ledwaba’s absence, her team showed up and showed that they, too, will fight tooth and nail. And what a team of big hitters she has – Bafana legend Doctor Khumalo, former national team boss Shakes Mashaba and former Safa CEO Dennis Mumble. Khumalo, like Radebe, evokes memories of the good times in South African football – the class of 1996. If you think the SA game has always been a joke, let me tell you now that Radebe is a bonafide hero at Leeds United and one of the best exports to the Premier League this country has ever produced. Doc was truly a special player – go and check out his legendary performance vs Brazil in 1996 and his other games against Germany and England. And the Kaizer Chiefs icon hit out at the Safa status quo, asking why ex-players like he and Rhoo can’t serve the game? It would be easy to say that they should humble themselves and start at the bottom. But these manne have already been to the top of the mountain, they have seen the Promised Land. Will they get a kans to plot the route? Then there was Bra Shakes. Now Shakes might not be synonymous with SA’S best moments, but he has been a steadying presence in our game for decades. His biggest gripe on the day was also why more football people aren’t helping to lift the standard of the game. Even in the darkest days of SA’S history, Shakes was a success on the pitch. Mense like him could prove invaluable in places where Safa have failed to invest the resources. But the best was yet to come on Tuesday, when Mumble made his stem dik. The former CEO spilled the beans on Jordaan’s dirty tactics to keep hold of power. He revealed to Newzroom on Wednesday: “In 2018, when Ace Ncobo ran for the position of Safa president, I was still Safa CEO. Along with people that worked under me, we were pressured by Jordaan to process about 31 charges against Ace Ncobo because he was not happy with what Ace and his supporters had to say. “We issued letters against those people for speaking out about where they stood and what they thought about the association. “Numerous letters went out in 2018 from Safa the same way it's happening now, if you criticise Safa then you get letters from lawyers.” The knives are out, mense. All I know is that it’s going to be an interesting election build-up. The status quo has definitely not lifted our game to where it should be or even could be. A change of guard would give us a vital new perspective.

en-za