‘Please stay, Leslie!’

2011-01-08 21:00

Safa’s CEO crisis continues with no end in sight, and the association’s failure to replace outgoing CEO Leslie Sedibe is a sign of an ­organisation in disarray.

This comes three months after Sedibe informed the Safa ­leadership that he would not ­renew his contract.

Sedibe’s contract was due to ­expire on Thursday but the ­association’s top brass has since extended his stay indefinitely.

However, Safa president Kirsten Nematandani denied this signaled a crisis in the organisation.

He said a due process had to be followed to close other chapters before embarking on a search for a new chief executive.

“There was an issue with Danny Jordaan and we had to close that chapter to avoid exposing ­ourselves to legal challenges.

“Even the Leslie issue was not cast in stone that he was to vacate his position as his contract only expired this week.

“Saying something does not mean doing it and we had to make sure we closed all the loopholes, and now that that is behind us we can go ahead and get a suitable replacement,” said Nematandani.

Safa will only advertise the ­position from tomorrow and it could be up to three months before a new CEO is hired.

One of the minimum requirements for the position is that the candidate has significant ­proven experience in a high-profile, complex, multi-stakeholder environment and an in-depth ­understanding of sport as a ­business.

With another requirement being a high level of financial and ­people management skills, Safa’s chief financial officer Gronie Hluyo could be in the running.

The names of Andrew Dipela and Steve Pila have also been touted as potential successors.

Another pending issue in the ­association’s in-tray is that of a new technical sponsor after Safa’s contract with sportswear brand Adidas expired at the end of last month.

National teams could be forced to continue wearing Adidas as ­negotiations with Puma and Nike continue.

However, Nematandani said the announcement of the new sponsor would be made very soon, without specifying the exact time frame.

Bafana Bafana television rights are also coming to an end in March, with Sedibe part of the team negotiating a new deal with the SABC.

Sedibe said he was happy to continue as CEO because he had some ­“unfinished business” in the ­association.

But he was quick to point out that he would not remain in his position for long as he had other business to take care of.

“I am available but not entirely available and I don’t see myself lasting for more than three months,” said Sedibe.

He said he wanted things to be done professionally when he left, and that he would conduct a proper handover.

“I am happy to stay on and manage this transition process. There is some unfinished business that I have to take care of like the CHAN tournament and the technical sponsor contract. I also want to do a proper exit interview.”

Sedibe said he would soon ­depart for Germany to negotiate a contract with Puma.

But he said that in the event no agreement was reached before the national Under-23s play Angola, they would continue to use an Adidas kit, as per the agreement with the technical sponsor.

However, he said he was ­confident they would clinch a deal with a new sponsor before Shakes Mashaba’s team takes on Angola in the All Africa Games qualifier on February 6 in Luanda.

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