Safa faces new crisis

2010-10-24 12:04

SA Football Association (Safa) administration could be thrown into ­turmoil if a ­suitable replacement is not found ­urgently for departing chief ­executive Leslie Sedibe. ­Sedibe has made it clear that he does not want to stay at the embattled association beyond the end of his contract, which ­expires in ­December.

World Cup local ­organising ­committee (LOC) chief executive Danny ­Jordaan has also indicated that he does not wish to go back to his old position as he is now focused on occupying positions in the Confederation of African Football and Fifa after being nominated by ­Safa.

At an urgent management meeting held on Monday after Sedibe’s letter to Safa’s top executives highlighting his intentions, Safa president Kirsten Nematandani was mandated to engage Jordaan on whether he would resume his previous role.

Jordaan referred all queries to ­Nematandani, while Sedibe was this week coy about his imminent move from the ­association, saying he was still engaged in talks with Nematandani.

However, he confirmed that he had ­written a letter notifying Safa of his ­intentions not to stay beyond the expiry of his contract.

“It’s true that I have written a letter to the president, but there have since been discussions and attempts of persuasion and we’ll see what happens,” said Sedibe.

He said he was busy preparing for the yearly general meeting scheduled for ­December 4, and he would take a ­long-deserved break after that.
Nematandani said it was still premature to talk about the position when there was somebody in it.

“Safa has a chief executive as we speak and it would not be wise to talk about somebody else. I have been mandated to engage Danny and I have 21 days to do so. I will report back to my executive. Until then, I don’t want to pre-empt what will happen because we have not started the process,” said Nematandani.

He said he did not want to jump to ­conclusions as Jordaan still had a contract to return to Safa after rounding off the LOC ­business.

“We are guided by the Labour Relations Act and we cannot start another process until we have engaged Danny, otherwise we would be breaking the law.”

Nematandani said it was also premature to talk about a possible replacement, saying they will either advertise the post or head hunt if the need arises.

Steve Pila’s name is already being ­bandied about as a suitable candidate.

The former Esselen Park School of ­Excellence head is an active member of the Football Transformation Forum, a vehicle used to usher the current Safa executive ­into ­office. Previous Safa CEOs include: Raymond Hack, a ­lawyer by profession and former Wits ­University chairperson; Albert ­Mokoena, an ex-home affairs director-general; and ­Jordaan, who was also in charge of the LOC.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source within the organisation said: “We need a person with a presence. He must ­exude confidence and command such through the media and all football ­stakeholders.”

Although being at the helm of Safa is a prestigious position with attractive perks, it is also a high-pressure job which requires someone with a thick skin.

The individual must exert his authority as there are usually different camps and ­personality clashes in football.

Apparently, one of the reasons Hack quit was?because of his alleged links to the camp led by Orlando Pirates boss Irvin “The Iron Duke” Khoza, who lost his bid to become Safa president last year.

The person who becomes Safa CEO needs to understand the ­culture of South African football and its politics and should not be easily manipulated.

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