Safa scores a point in schools foot­ball war

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

Is this the be­gin­ning of the end for the SA Schools Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Sasfa)?

Fri­day’s press con­fer­ence at SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) head­quar­ters clearly pointed to that be­ing the case as no less than five top of­fi­cials have aligned them­selves with Sasfa.

Sasfa and Safa have been at log­ger­heads over the run­ning of schools foot­ball for the past three years, with the mother body tak­ing the de­ci­sion to with­draw recog­ni­tion of the for­mer in 2015.

The mat­ter be­tween the two or­gan­i­sa­tions is be­fore the courts and is sched­uled to be heard next month.

Led by sus­pended Sasfa gen­eral sec­re­tary Steve Pila and vice-pres­i­dent In­no­cent Sirovha, a group of of­fi­cials has come to­gether with Safa to form a united schools sport struc­ture.

Other mem­bers of Sasfa’s lead­er­ship on the new com­mit­tee are Dick­son Moleko, Sman­gal­iso Mgenge and Vin­cent Ram­phao.

Sasfa pres­i­dent Mandla “Shoes” Maz­ibuko was con­spic­u­ous by his ab­sence, sig­nalling divi­sion within Sasfa.

Pila did not mince his words, say­ing they were go­ing for­ward with a united schools body.

He said it was about time all war­ring fac­tions came to­gether for the ben­e­fit of school chil­dren.

“It is ei­ther you are with us or you are out,” said Pila. “We are go­ing on a na­tional drive to all the prov­inces and, af­ter four months or so, we will come back with rec­om­men­da­tions to Safa. Those who don’t want to be part of this should ei­ther be dis­ci­plined or locked out be­cause this is long over­due.”

He said schools foot­ball should take its right­ful place in the coun­try.

“We need to gal­vanise every­one and get the more than 20 000 schools in­volved. We will ap­proach the for­mer Model C schools so they form part of this unit.”

Later in the day, Sasfa sent a me­dia state­ment dis­tanc­ing it­self from the new struc­ture.

“We have been fol­low­ing with keen in­ter­est the var­i­ous mes­sages from the pres­i­dent of Safa, Dr Danny Jor­daan, on the so-called strides made to come to this de­ci­sion. For the record, Sasfa has never been in­vited to talks nor sent any del­e­ga­tion to ne­go­ti­ate with Safa, where this an­nounce­ment em­anated from the so­called uni­fied in­terim struc­ture,” said Maz­ibuko.

Jor­daan said their aim was to see about 5.3 mil­lion chil­dren in­volved in foot­ball within five years.

PHOTO: TEBOGO LETSIE

UNITED FRONT Steve Pila and Safa pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan are now work­ing to­gether

PHOTO: RUTH SEOPEDI MOTAU

LAST MAN STAND­ING Sasfa pres­i­dent Mandla ‘Shoes’ Maz­ibuko

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