New SAFA CEO announced
New SAFA CEO Robin Peterson (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - The SA Football Association (SAFA) named Robin Peterson as their new chief executive in a hastily arranged press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
The surprise announcement was made at Fluxman's Attorneys in Rosebank, the law firm that has been helping SAFA with filling the vacant position.
Peterson, effectively replaces attorney Leslie Sedibe, who vacated this post earlier this year when his one year contract ended.
Despite a stable term, Sedibe declined to extend his contract with the association and left at the end of January.
SAFA's long-serving administrator, Pinky Lehoko went on to serve on an interim basis after Sedibe's departure.
Lehoko carried on with the association, also failing to find a suitable replacement in March, and having to resume the interview and screening process from scratch.
Peterson starts office on August 1, having signed a three-year contract.
With SAFA having received a windfall in the region of R680 Million - which will be mostly channelled into the development structures - from as their legacy after South Africa staged last year's World Cup, the association's mandate was also on a man who would ensure on the trust is well managed.
"We are happy to have Robin on board," said SAFA president Kirsten Nematendani.
"We appointed him knowing that he was the right person for the job.
"His experience at this level will help us grow. We as the association will give him our full support."
Peterson is no stranger to local soccer having served - though briefly - in the same capacity for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) between 2000 and 2001 where he had replaced Joe Ndlela. He resigned from that position with immediate effect in the aftermath of the infamous Ellis Park Stadium stampede on April 11 ten years ago where 43 fans were killed and hundreds more injured in a league match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
Though his term in the sport will forever be associated with that period, Peterson called it an honour to be back serving football again after a decade.
"It's a great pleasure and at the same time a challenge to be serving football again," said Peterson.
"I am happy to be back and looking forward to taking it to the new level."
He said that he would like to like to see progress in the development structures that has long been the thorn in the progress of South African football.
Nematendani went on to thank Lehoko for her contribution on a temporary basis.
"We thank Pinky for her contribution," Nematendani said.
"When we needed someone competent, she was there and did a splendid job for the association."