Graeme Joffe

SA sport in a fix

2012-12-19 10:20
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
SASCOC elections fixed, Bafana Bafana friendlies fixed... What’s next for SA sport? And not a peep from either the Sports Minister or SASCOC.

Maybe, it’s just the norm, business as usual.

Match fixing allegations against SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani and four other SAFA employees, plunging the sport into chaos, but should we be surprised?

Just last month, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula told the national assembly that SAFA 'remains a going concern'. An operating loss of R56 million, despite their lucrative TV and sponsorship deals. I would say “a going concern” is an understatement.

SAFA and SASCOC are coupled at the tote with greedy, gravy train administrators, who use public monies like it’s their own bank account.
You have to ask why has the Sports Minister has not called for a forensic audit of both bodies? 

I think you know the answer.

Mr Mbalula is also not scared to spend public money, just like the R35 million on one night for the SA sports awards, a tender which went to a good friend of his. One hand washes the other and it’s become a real sickly grained cancer in SA sport and it just seems as if no-one is prepared to do anything about it.

Had any other sports federation been linked to match fixing, other than SAFA, SASCOC would have gone in guns blazing. They would have suspended the federation and put one of their cronies in charge with access to the purse strings. But SAFA wouldn’t be as easy to bully. 

As of November 5, 2012, no fewer than four sporting bodies were not in good standing with SASCOC ie: Basketball, Boxing, Powerboating and Softball and for far lesser crimes than allegations of match fixing.

But when it comes to SAFA, not a word. 

Perhaps, the SASCOC big wigs are on “another” holiday or were in Mangaung, as election observers.

SASCOC’s brazen manipulation of their elections and sense of unassailability is megalomaniacal.

Mr Nematandani got nine votes in the SASCOC election for the position of vice-president and I was just wondering if he was nominated by Football4U.

With SASCOC, anything is possible. 

Jokes aside, it is such a sad state of affairs and the irony of it all.

Nematandani quoted in the City Press before learning of his suspension: “Having co-operated with FIFA during their investigation, we are happy that this matter is coming to its conclusion, and our commitment to zero tolerance to corruption is well documented. SAFA remains totally committed to working with FIFA to wipe out the scourge of corruption that is impacting on football globally.”

Was this a bluff or did he really not see a suspension coming?

Even more laughable was the SAFA press conference afterwards, when they said it was for “good governance” that the suspensions were implemented and they will appoint a commission of inquiry under the leadership of a retired judge to investigate the match-fixing scandal further.

Give me a break, give me a Kit-Kat.

Good governance with SAFA and SASCOC is an oxymoron.

An operating loss of R56 million sounds like great governance!

What is needed is a quick independent inquiry, a forensic audit of SAFA and the book thrown at the perpetrators. FIFA have already done the hard yards and fingered the individuals involved.

What we don’t need is another long drawn out inquiry ala CSA, using taxpayers money. 
It’s been a “bonus” year for some of SA sports administrators but at least we know the score of Bafana Bafana’s friendly against Norway on January 8, 2013. It’s 3-1 to Bafana with two penalties in the second half.

Fill your boots!

Tragic, tragic, tragic.

But if South Africa had a proper sports minister and a clean SASCOC, we wouldn’t have half the problems we have in our sport today.

Email Graeme at:

Catch Graeme Joffe on SportsFire every Monday and Thursday at 17:30 on Radio Today, 1485am in JHB, National on DStv audio channel 169 and streaming worldwide on Follow Graeme Joffe on Twitter: @joffersmyboy

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Response to a comment:

Mr Perumal, I’m not on Facebook, so can’t respond to your comments but perhaps you want to look at and read my SA Rugby columns before you bash away. It’s got nothing to do with race. We need clean administration in all our sports but SASCOC are the umbrella body and it starts at the top. Our athletes deserve better!

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