Khoza denies coup reports

2010-03-30 14:15

The chairperson of the 2010 Local Organising Committee Irvin Khoza

today denied newspaper reports that he was plotting a coup to destabilise the SA

Football Association (Safa).

“The co-ordinated Sunday newspapers’ assertion quoting non-existent

meetings to plot a non-existent coup (by me) is not only false but maliciously

peddled by those who clearly do not care about putting the World Cup first,” he

told media at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) headquarters in


Khoza, who is also the chairperson of the PSL, said he would not

allow in-fighting to compromise the successful staging of the first World Cup

finals on Africa soil.

He took the Sunday Times and City Press newspapers to task over

their “untrue” reports last Sunday, saying he was “not upset but


The reports claimed that Khoza had meetings with government, the

ANC, the ANC Women’s League and five members of the Safa executive in a bid to

oust the current leadership of Safa.

“I held no meetings with anyone. Nowhere in the reports in the

media on Sunday did they quote me. But that is not a big deal,” he said.

“Why did the papers not get hold of people in the ANC, government

or the Women’s League for their comment?”

Khoza said that after the controversial Safa elections where he

lost his bid to become president last September, he had agreed with President

Jacob Zuma that he would not contest the elections until after the World


“I reserve the right to challenge the elections if I want to,” he


“But I will honour my commitment to President Zuma and the country

and I will stick by that.

“I would never do anything to harm the World Cup in any way. I have

always understood and appreciated that the World Cup is more than me and not

about me.

“I will therefore stop at nothing to ensure that those who want to

take away the World Cup have no latitude to do so, be they foreign agents or

compromised local media bought by those selfish enough to put their narrow

interest ahead of those of the nation and the World Cup.”

Khoza said he had attended a Safa executive meeting in Johannesburg

last Friday which was cordial.

“Then on Sunday I read I am plotting a coup. What nonsense.”

Khoza said he was not looking for sympathy or mercy, saying: “I am

at a loss for words to explain these reports. I would never cause any disunity

in Safa.”

He ducked a question on whether he would take legal action against

the newspapers.

“I do not expect the media to write PR about me and the World Cup.

Just the facts.”

Khoza said he had written to the ANC and the ANC Women’s League to

ask for clarity on the issue. He said he would meet the ANC Youth League leader


“I need to get face-to-face meetings with all parties and get to

the bottom of these stories and find out who these faceless people are that are

bringing my name into disrepute.”

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