Congratulations are in order for Limpopo football side
Magesi FC and Kings United from KwaZulu-Natal.
The two clubs were on Sunday promoted to the National
First Division (NFD), the second tier of South African football after a
gruelling ABC Motsepe League final that ended in a 1-all tie, with Magesi
emerging 5-3 winners after the dreaded lottery of football that is a penalty
Besides the honour of being promoted to the NFD, the
two clubs received R1 million and R500 000 in prize money, respectively.
Now they will rub shoulders and fight for promotion with
the likes of University of Pretoria, Black Leopards, Santos and
Thanda Royal Zulu among others.
Quite an elite lot to compete against for clubs coming
off an amateur league.
They will also now get about R450 000 in monthly
grants as NFD contenders.
However, there are bad news!
Just as I wrote in this column last July, when
Mbombela United got promoted, not much has changed.
So, while Magesi and Kings are excited, should one of
them beat the lot and get promoted to the elite Absa Premiership at the end of
the upcoming season, they will only pocket a first prize of R500 000 which is
what Kings United got for coming second in the ABC Motsepe League while it’s R500 000 less
than what Magesi received for being champions!
The only real reward for qualifying to play in the
Absa Premiership is the R1.5 million monthly grants as well as participation in
lucrative Cup tournaments such as the MTN8, Telkom Cup and the Nedbank Cup.
Success in these competitions is however not
guaranteed as big guns are wont to dominate.
This is the door we have been banging for many years
about the imbalances that exist between the second tier and the elite league.
It is indeed a chasm that calls for immediate
correction as it makes a mockery of the NFD.
It is also this discrepancy that sees clubs in this
division do everything in their power to win matches and get promoted.
There have been several reports of wide-spread
corruption in this league.
It is indeed a dog-eat-dog division but the club
owners - albeit in private - tend to justify their shenanigans by pointing at
the gap that exists between them and the Absa Premiership.
It is time that the PSL really did something about the
NFD. It is indeed a terrible reflection on a league that prides itself on being
a first class organisation.
The starting point should be the cockeyed voting
system contained in the National Soccer League (NSL – the mother body
consisting of the PSL and NFD.) This provides for each Premier League club to
enjoy four votes while NFD clubs only have one each.
With this provision in place, there is no way that NFD
clubs can have a meaningful say in the way professional soccer is managed in
this country. Even if they have powerful club owners such as Jomo Sono, David
Thidiela and Goolam Alie, they can shout until their voices are hoarse, but
nothing will change.
It is high time they fought this anomaly tooth and
nail even if they have to take it to court. I doubt if there is any court that
would agree with this rule in the NSL Constitution.
But, that’s just me and I have no voting rights in the
NSL, PSL or NFD...
S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading
sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of
the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently
City Press Sports Editor.Disclaimer: Sport24
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