Tug-ofwar over school soccer
The acrimonious spat over the management of football at schools between the SA Schools Football Association (Sasfa) and Safa is gaining momentum.
Sasfa has garnered the support of teachers’ union Sadtu and school governing bodies in its fight against the football governing body.
At Sasfa’s national congress yesterday, it was clear that the organisation would not dance to Safa’s tune when it provided Safa with an ultimatum – 14 days to come to the party, or else...
Sasfa president Mandla “Shoes” Mazibuko said the organisation wanted to engage Safa on its resolution to take over the running of football at schools.
He said the resolution from yesterday’s meeting, which was attended by nine provinces, was that the two bodies should work together and find a workable solution.
“The big question is around the sudden U-turn that has been made by Safa’s president, who last year told our delegates that it wanted us to share in its Vision 2022.
“This decision has the potential to cause anarchy and disorder as it could lead to us fighting for children – and the delegates have made it clear they do not want this to happen.
“We have been given a mandate to go back to the mother body to find an amicable resolution,” said Mazibuko.
He said Sasfa reserved the right to take further steps – legal action, dispute resolution or severing ties with Safa – if a suitable solution were not found.
Matakanye Matakanya, general secretary of the National Association of School Governing Bodies, said: “Sasfa is there to develop our children and we are behind its programmes as they enhance learning and teaching.”
He said Sasfa was a strong body that should be supported.
“We don’t know Safa because it has never engaged with us.
“We reject what Safa is trying to do because it shouldn’t bring politics into our schools as that will hamper our development.
“Sasfa has approached us and we have agreed to work with them,” said Matakanya.
He said they had made an appeal for the two bodies to cooperate and collaborate.
Mamahase Mohale of the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union said the organisation vehemently opposed Safa’s decision to manage football at schools.
She said Safa should leave school football to those who have been trained to work with children.
“Teachers have been trained to work with learners and they are also in loco parentis.
“Let sport be run by sportspeople who have been given the responsibility of dealing with children.
“We would love to see the relationship between Safa and Sasfa getting stronger and not the other way round,” said Mohale.
This point was reiterated by Brendon Ehlers, who represented a sponsor, Danone.
“It is not for us to get involved, but the two parties should sit around the table and find a way forward,” said Ehlers.
Sechaba Motsieloa,corporate affairs director at sponsor McDonald’s SA, said: “We have had a six-year relationship with Sasfa and after this special meeting we are quite comfortable that we have partnered with the legitimate custodian of football in schools.
“This will allow McDonald’s to continue to invest in children.”