Johannesburg - A bitter battle is looming as the SA Football Association (Safa) gets ready to hold its elective congress later this month.
While presidential candidate Ace Ncobo insists there will be no elections without an electoral commission, Safa is singing another tune.
On Friday, Ncobo said there would be no elections on March 24 after the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) withdrawal from the process.
But the football association hit back yesterday, insisting the elections would go ahead as planned.
“The association has invited representatives from the Council of Southern African Football Associations, the Confederation of African Football and Fifa to monitor the elections.
“In 2009, the appointed electoral officers withdrew from the process and the congress asked Fifa to oversee the elections,” read a statement by Safa.
Ncobo said he asked Fifa to place Safa under administration and disband it for violating its statutes.
“I have written to Fifa and asked it to intervene,” he said.
“One of the reasons I accepted the nomination was because I wanted to have the legal standing to write and talk about these things.
“As a presidential candidate, I can write to Fifa and raise issues based on its statutes.”
Ncobo is eyeing incumbent president Danny Jordaan’s position.
Ncobo, a retired referee and former school principal and university lecturer, said the matter was not about him or the presidential race. He said the only thing he cared about was Fifa statutes, which clearly stated the consequences of violating the electoral code.
“Articles G1, G2 and G3 are clear when it comes to this issue and they force Fifa to intervene when there is a gross violation of statutes. It’s not me. Those are Fifa’s guidelines.”
On Friday, the IEC confirmed it would no longer oversee the March 24 elections.
“The commission had initially agreed to assist with these elections as requested in the correspondence signed by Mr [Dennis] Mumble on January 8 subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions which were communicated to Safa,” read a letter from the commission.
“Subsequent to your March 6 letter‚ the commission became aware of unresolved matters within Safa with respect to these elections and has withdrawn its consent to provide the requested assistance.”
Safa hit back at the IEC for not personally informing it of the decision.
“We approached the IEC based on its independence and it is very concerning that this decision might have compromised that,” said Safa.
“No reasons were given to the association for the decision and, to our disappointment, we had to learn this through the media.”
Ncobo said he was serious and had made up his mind that if there was no electoral committee, there would be no congress.
“It’s simple as that. We can’t pretend there is a congress when there isn’t.
“We need at least seven months to convene a legitimate congress. In terms of Safa statutes, you need 30 days to convene a congress and choose the electoral committee. You also need a six-month window period before the elective congress,” he said.
“Depending on when they call the special congress, the earliest we can have it is in October.
“Article 4(3) of the electoral code prescribes that the committee must be elected at a general assembly at least six months before an elective congress.
“The election cannot take place earlier than that.”
Ncobo will launch his manifesto on Tuesday.
“I don’t know when the elections will be held. All I know is that it won’t be now,” he said.