False start for Southern African Region Cross Country Champs

2014-02-08 12:21

Athletics SA (ASA) has suffered yet another setback. It has lost the right to host next weekend’s Southern African Region Cross Country Championships.

The latest development follows the postponement this week of a high court case between five provincial affiliates and embattled ASA president James Evans.

The legal battle between the two parties was postponed to March 31 as the matter had not been placed on the roll at the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

The Cross Country event was supposed to have taken place in Potchefstroom next weekend.

Again, it is the ongoing leadership squabbles at ASA that have put a spanner in the works – more especially that the interim board is yet to receive recognition from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

At the end of last month, the ASA interim committee, led by KwaZulu-Natal Athletics president Sello Mokoena, announced a team of 24 men and women for the championships.

But yesterday, the Athletics Association of Malawi raised concerns that they were yet to receive confirmation from the organisers on whether the race was going ahead or not.

Evans, who says he and his elected board of 2012 are still recognised by the IAAF, said through a statement he was engaging with the international athletics controlling bodies to reverse the decision to scrap the Potch event.

“We regret to advise that the CAA Southern Region has informed us that they have cancelled the Southern Region Cross Country Championships due to be held in South Africa due to the problems we are experiencing,” wrote Evans.

“This has to be a stern warning as to what will happen in future if certain individuals continue to pretend they are running ASA while they do not have international endorsement.”

It is the second time that a CAA-sanctioned competition has been cancelled here after the African Junior Championships last year.

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