Safa remains mired in admin bungles

2011-02-12 18:28

The South African Football Association (Safa) shambles continued into this week when the beleaguered ruling body shot itself in the foot by appointing an unqualified fourth ­official in the international game between Bafana Bafana and Kenya on Wednesday.

The shambles started on ­Monday when, at the 11th hour, Safa cancelled a conference to announce a major sponsorship.

City Press has reliably learned that the reason for the cancellation of the announcement of new Bafana kit sponsor Puma was that someone signed off the wrong colours.

Bafana Bafana were subsequently forced to use Adidas kit, two months after that sponsorship lapsed in December.

Safa’s acting chief executive, Pinky Lehoko, said she was not aware of the reasons for the ­cancellation.

She said acting president Danny Jordaan would be in a better position to respond, but the 2010 World Cup chief executive said he knew nothing about the issue as it was an administrative matter.

Late yesterday Safa sent out a media release stating that negotiations with the sponsor were at an advanced stage.

Barely two weeks after referee Faik Daniels could not continue with a game after sustaining an injury and the fourth official had to take to the field, Safa took a risk by appointing someone who is not on the international panel or has even officiated at a PSL game.

Now referees on the Fifa and Caf panel are up in arms over ­Safa’s decision to appoint Cedrich Muvhali, saying it was an ­“embarrassment” to the country.

The match officials argued that South Africa would have suffered further embarrassment had a similar incident like the one at Mbombela Stadium a fortnight ago happened, where the referee had to be replaced by the fourth official after sustaining an injury.

“I would have thought after what happened in Mbombela, Safa would come to their senses and do the right thing. Is it because the guy is from Venda, where the president comes from, that he got the nod ahead of other suitably qualified officials on the international panel?” asked one match ­official.

Safa’s head of referees department Adeel Carelse dismissed their complaints, however, saying it was all “hogwash”.

Carelse, who was spitting fire and venom, could not contain his anger when asked about Muvhali, saying referees had nothing to do with appointments. He said it was “frivolous” of people to raise their concerns with the media.

“Law 5 says referees for international friendly matches may be appointed from the international panel. It does not say they should be from the panel, so there is no violation at all. I don’t know what they are complaining about. This is bulls**t and frivolous,” Carelse charged.

He accused those who complained of being selfish.

“Our referees are extremely selfish, because for an international match they get paid $750 (about R5 500). This is all about money and not development.”

He said when Sweden played Botswana, Charl Theron was a ­referee, yet he was not on the ­international panel.

He said even the Bafana game against the US in November was officiated by Daniels, who was not on the international panel.

The referees hit back, however, saying that Safa had been transgressing the rules.

“It does not mean that because they did it before, therefore it is right,” said one official.

Carelse was at pains to explain how Muvhali got a Caf tracksuit when he is not a member of the Caf panel.

“The referee lent him his tracksuit because they wanted to look uniform. The boy and others who have been identified have been earmarked for promotion in July. We have been using them as fourth officials in PSL games,” he said.

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