Sascoc and Safa at war

2014-06-15 15:00

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The gloves are off between the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and the SA Football Association (Safa).

This week, Sascoc took a resolution to appoint a three-member team comprising Merrill King, Mark Alexander and Les Williams from its finance committee to meet with Safa to scrutinise their financial position, turnaround strategy and milestones.

Sascoc also wants Safa to present to its board a six-monthly progress report for the next 24 months. It says if this process fails, it will be forced to intervene to regularise the finances of the organisation.

This after Safa reported a R96?million loss at its annual general meeting last year. In a no holds barred response, the football body:

»?Accused Sascoc of addressing them through the media following a story leaked to The Star this week;

»?Threatened to withdraw its membership and file a defamation lawsuit against Sascoc; and

» Refused any further cooperation.

Sascoc president Gideon Sam said they were not prepared to back down.

Gideon Sam: “There is nothing sinister. Safa has a choice of saying we must leave them alone if they feel we are meddling in their affairs or to say they are happy to work together with us as agreed. We have to get Safa to where it belongs so as to strengthen competition and Bafana Bafana.

“If they say we must leave them alone, that’s it – we’ll shake hands and that would be the end of our relationship. We will close shop and say thank you very much and it will become an issue for the sport and recreation department. We cannot have a situation where one member can do as they want. What is the point of getting involved with cricket and rugby and, when it comes to Safa, we back off? Why would we push others and, when it comes to Safa, we say no? What do we tell the rest of the federations – that we hit you with a hammer and Safa with a feather? We can’t do that.

“First call was to establish a judicial inquiry around all issues in Safa but we decided against it as it is too costly. There was an issue of a dossier that went to the Hawks, who have been asking us what are we doing about it. Safa’s treasurer was supposed to come back to us regarding their turnaround strategy, but never did.”

Safa CEO Dennis Mumble: “Sascoc is very uninformed on football matters. We reported a R46?million loss and not R96?million. This was an improvement on the previous year’s loss of R56?million.

“Losses happen in many companies across the globe and this does not warrant an investigation.

“If Sascoc was so concerned with the progress of sport in this country, why have they never sent us a a congratulatory letter when our teams do well in competitions? We have received no support from Sascoc for any of our junior competitions – just criticism and letters threatening us of investigating this or that.

“Sascoc has a fiduciary duty to protect its members, but when they received this mysterious dossier which has been dismissed as rubbish by everybody, they never came to us to verify the facts but took it straight to the Hawks. To date, we have never received a copy from them.

“Safa is the only sports federation that has outsourced its financial department to internationally recognised Ernst & Young and our auditors are KPMG.

“If these two firms could find nothing amiss with our finances, what does Sascoc hope to find, as they are not auditors?”

Open letter – Dennis Mumble on Safa-Sascoc relationship

Full statement – Sascoc resolution on Safa

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