SAFA in crisis - ministry

2013-04-16 18:55
SAFA logo (File)

Johannesburg - The SA Football Association (SAFA has been on a downward spiral since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the government and South Africa's highest sporting body said on Tuesday.

In a joint statement, the sports ministry and SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) said they had offered SAFA "unwavering support" in recent years, but the football body was in crisis.

"SAFA has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons," they said.

"Football loving South Africans have been exposed to diatribes and serious allegations."

A long list of allegations included match-fixing, inappropriate use and disbursement of the FIFA legacy trust funds, and corruption, highlighted in an anonymous document dropped off at SASCOC's office in Johannesburg.

A KPMG report into SAFA's finances also revealed the football body was R92m in the red and on the brink of bankruptcy.

"Over and above the aforementioned allegations, there have been tensions protracted and perennial problems of mishandling leadership and management disputes.

"These played themselves out on the eve of our hosting the Africa Cup of Nations (earlier this year). It took our intervention as the ministry of sport and recreation and SASCOC to request the SAFA leadership to desist from engaging in public spats or making pronouncements that will bring the name of football into disrepute."

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani travelled to Zurich earlier this month to assure global body FIFA that the South African government was not interfering with soccer in the country.

"The minister travelled to FIFA to clarify that there was no interference and no intentions to interfere. The ministry and SASCOC’s involvement was by SAFA’s invitation.

"Secondly, in terms of our legislation as a sovereign government that promulgates laws for the establishment of the confederation, federations and other sports bodies, we are empowered by the same laws to intervene in reported instances of maladministration and mismanagement.

"We indicated that in terms of our laws match-fixing/match manipulation and financial mismanagement are considered as acts of criminality."

The sports ministry confirmed in the first week of April that a judicial inquiry would be conducted into allegations of match fixing during 2010 World Cup warm-up matches.

SAFA had wanted an independent inquiry to investigate the alleged corruption.

"Going forward the matter is in the hands of the South African government and we will consider it, taking into account the merits and demerits of each proposal to us," the ministry and SASCOC said.

"We do not expect any comments on the matter until the government has pronounced on the course of action to be taken concerning SAFA."

Read more on:    safa  |  sascoc  |  fikile mbalula  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.