Tug-ofwar over school soc­cer

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

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.”

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