Still no end to Sasfa vs Safa blame game

CityPress - - Sport - SIL­VER SIBIYA sil­ver.sibiya@city­press.co.za

The SA Schools Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Sasfa) is ready to set­tle its dif­fer­ences with its mother body, the SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa).

Speak­ing at last week’s Copa Coca-Cola tour­na­ment in Bloemfontein, Sasfa pres­i­dent Mandla “Shoes” Maz­ibuko said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was open and ready to work with Safa.

“There is no rea­son we can’t work with Safa. Whose in­ter­ests are we serv­ing if we are not work­ing with Safa?” he asked.

The two or­gan­i­sa­tions are at log­ger­heads over the run­ning of schools’ foot­ball, and the mat­ter is be­fore the courts.

“This is more about pol­i­tics than what meets the eye, but, as far as we are con­cerned, we are work­ing with every­body you see around here [at the tour­na­ment], in­clud­ing the de­part­ments of ed­u­ca­tion and sports, stake­hold­ers and the teach­ers’ union. There is no rea­son we should not work with Safa.”

Maz­ibuko said Sasfa had not dis­puted that Safa was the cus­to­dian of foot­ball in the coun­try.

“It is them [Safa] who dis­putes that we have a man­date to run schools foot­ball. For­tu­nately, that man­date can not be chal­lenged.

“From the on­set, we didn’t have an is­sue. Re­mem­ber, it was Safa that – out of the blue – de­cided to dere­cog­nise us with­out any ap­par­ent rea­son.” He chal­lenged Safa to help them rather than mis­lead the pub­lic about the de­tails re­gard­ing schools that were par­tic­i­pat­ing in de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes.

“Peo­ple are talk­ing and try­ing to mis­lead the coun­try around the num­ber of schools par­tic­i­pat­ing or that should par­tic­i­pate. The truth is that we have 25 000 schools in the coun­try. How­ever, out of that num­ber, there are not more than 6 000 high schools [that par­tic­i­pate in the de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes], and not all of them play soc­cer as there are those that play other sport such as rugby, cricket and hockey,” he said.

“You know, we don’t have girls’ leagues in the coun­try or girls’ pro­grammes in the schools, so you don’t use that as a ploy to say that Sasfa is not touch­ing enough schools. What are you do­ing as a mother body to as­sist your as­so­ciate mem­ber?” he asked, re­fer­ring the ques­tion to Safa.

The Sasfa elec­tive con­fer­ence is set for next year, and Maz­ibuko said a so­lu­tion to the saga could be found then.

PHOTO: RUTH SEOPEDI MOTAU

UNITY Sasfa pres­i­dent Mandla Maz­ibuko wants the or­gan­i­sa­tion to work to­gether with Safa to de­velop young tal­ent

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