Vote for me – Nematandani

2009-09-19 14:53

THE battle for the South African Football Association (Safa) top post is not just a two-horse race between Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan. The third candidate, Kirsten Nematandani, might not have hogged the headlines but he believes he has the capacity to lead the organisation he has served since 1997.

The Safa Vhembe president told City Press that his track record in football speaks volumes of what he is capable of achieving.
Nematandani was first tipped by the outgoing Safa president, Molefi Oliphant, to succeed him long before the succession battle began.

But he bemoaned the fact that it seemed as if one needed extra- ordinary resources to make it in football leadership.
“If everything was equal and the playing fields were level, would I have won this position as I have worked hard for it from the day I came to the organisation, and I deserve it?” he asked.

“The outgoing president did not choose my name by mistake; he knew what kind of a person would take this organisation to greater heights. I am ready for the challenge, having graduated from the grassroots in all these years. I will prove to the nation that I can.”

Nematandani said the turf war was not surprising as the stakes were too high this time around for being in control of the biggest sport in the country.

“Football will never be the same after the World Cup. My plea is that whatever is accrued from this event should be used and reinvested in the interest of the game.”

Although modest about his nomination, Nematandani said his vision was to make Safa number one in Africa through continuous engagements with key stakeholders.

He said he would strive to establish the culture of responsibility and accountability at all levels of the organisation and also ensure that players were given the right foundation through a life skills programme, with education forming the cornerstone of their development.

He said Safa was fortunate to have a football monopoly as people would have sought other alternatives if they had one.

“If this was a business, people would have gone to another shop because of the manner we are treating them. We have the greatest asset as people love the game. They invest their little savings and invest in this thing, but we are not reciprocating.”

Nematandani also preached about turning Safa into a learning organisation and utilising all higher education facilities to enhance the standard of the game.

“What kind of a nation are we building if coaches tell players to choose between being in the starting line-up and going to school? What kind of leaders are we building?

“There is a lot of ignorance among our people, particularly in the regions.”

He said if the country had engaged scientific support it would not be where it is now.

Nematandani said that as a good listener and good negotiator, he could turn Safa around.

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