Chief is Afcon king

2012-06-23 18:26

Sports Minister names Nonkonyana to head Local Organising Committee

South African Football Association (Safa) vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana will be confirmed as chairperson of the 2013 Afcon local organising committee (LOC) when the full board meets.

This was revealed by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula yesterday.

“I have spoken to Kirsten Nematandani (Safa president) and they are happy with Chief being chairman,” said Mbalula.

Nonkonyana took over from Nematandani when he was installed as an interim chairman until government appointed Cabinet ministers to serve on the board.

Mbalula said that the seven names of government ministers to be incorporated into the LOC board had been “suggested and given to President Jacob Zuma”.

“He will sign off their names and make an announcement when he gets back from overseas.”

Zuma is in Mexico for a G20 summit.

Mbalula dismissed speculation that government wanted to make one of the ministers, himself in particular, chairman of the LOC.

He said: “The LOC is a football structure and it must be chaired by one of the football people.”

Another LOC insider said Mbalula had stated categorically that he was not interested in chairing the committee.

Mbalula’s pronouncement should put an end to mutterings that there was division among football people on who – Irvin Khoza, Danny Jordaan or former Safa president Molefi Oliphant – should occupy the coveted seat.

Mbalula said the budget for the event had been finalised and most of the funding would come from national government.

“I cannot tell you the figure at the moment but the board will reveal it at the appropriate time,” he said.

LOC chief executive Mvuzo Mbebe had previously said that their initial estimates were that staging next year’s Afcon would cost about R420 million.

On Friday, Mbebe announced a series of events as a build-up to the 16-nation tournament that will kick off on January 19.

First is a sponsors’ workshop that starts tomorrow in Sandton, Johannesburg, and ends on Wednesday. “The workshop will involve all the CAF sponsors and SportsFive (the TV rights holder) when matters related to the commercial aspects of the tournament will be finalised,” Mbalula said.

He also announced that a CAF delegation led by the federation’s vice-president Suketu Patel and general secretary Hicham El Amrani will tour the country from July 3 to July 9 to conduct a final inspection of the host cities and stadiums.

The hosts are eThekwini (Moses Mabhida), Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng), Nelson Mandela Bay (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium) and Mbombela (Mbombela Stadium).

He said on July 3, Afcon will launch its marketing campaign and hold the preliminary draw at Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg, on July 5, with the final draw pencilled in for Durban on October 26.

Mbebe also revealed that the organising committee had engaged some of the top local companies to come on board as sponsors.

“They have agreed in principle and hopefully we will have finalised everything with the sponsors by mid-July. The LOC board has approved the copyright intellectual manual as well as the marketing campaign plan that will be launched on July 3,” he said.

“Emperors Palace has agreed to host the draw and SuperSport will do the broadcast production and will show the event live.”

At the draw, 30 teams will go into the hat, including the 16 nations that participated in the finals co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon this year.

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