Safa ship steady

2014-09-21 15:01

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It has been a good year at the helm for Safa officials, writes Timothy Molobi

Although much has been achieved since that fateful day on September 28 last year, when the new Safa leadership took charge, it has not all been smooth sailing?–?and there is still much to be done with the rebuilding and reconstruction of football.

The SA Football Association (Safa) leadership under president Danny Jordaan has performed better than the previous administration, notably in soccer development and turning finances around.

The leadership hit the ground running and addressed pertinent issues that needed immediate attention.

Jordaan faced one of the biggest challenges of his career as a football administrator?–?to turn around an embattled association that was faced with problems ranging from the underperformance of the senior national team, Bafana Bafana, to financial instability and a dire lack of visible youth development.

But soon after settling in, his leadership had to put its foot down to deal with Safa vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana’s utterances regarding former Bafana coach Gordon Igesund.

Nonkonyana said Igesund would have to resign if he failed to guide the squad to this year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals. He was suspended and almost a year later, the matter is still unresolved.

Nonkonyana this week approached the South Gauteng High Court to force Safa to implement the decision of arbitrator Advocate Hilton Epstein to lift his suspension.

On the positive side, Safa seems to have mended its relationship with the Premier Soccer League, if the issue surrounding the MultiChoice Diski Challenge is anything to go by. While the PSL wanted the league to be for Under-19 players, Safa felt it was encroaching on its territory and the two bodies resolved that it should not be an age-specific competition.

After losing the Absa and Puma sponsorship, Safa was forced to scramble for financial assistance. But then it managed to get Nike as a technical sponsor and the Motsepe foundation came on board

as a sponsor for the Safa second division, the ABC Motsepe League.

The biggest catch was the R1?billion broadcast deal with Siyaya TV, which will take effect next year.

After being rocked by restructuring, which some referred to as purging, the Safa administration seems to be more stable now.

But it has not all been smooth sailing for the organisation. It was indecisive about how it dealt with Igesund’s future. It also took a while to appoint his successor after failing to tie down its preferred candidate, Carlos Queiroz.

But Jordaan can look back with pride knowing he has been able to somewhat steady the Safa ship?–?for now.

But after delivering a successful World Cup in 2010, he should know it is almost impossible to score maximum points after Fifa president Sepp Blatter awarded Safa nine points out of 10 for a great job.

Hits and Misses

How Safa scored this year


» Financial stability: Safa is ­going to announce a profit from last year’s R46?million loss

» The appointment of coaches Vera Pauw (Banyana Banyana) and Shakes Mashaba (Bafana Bafana) was a masterstroke

» Focus on developmental teams: The Under-20s have qualified for next year’s African Youth Championship. The Under-17s are on the verge of booking a place there. Banyana Banyana are off to the African Women’s Championship in Namibia from October 11-25

»?Vote of confidence: Sponsors seem to have bought into its vision and have come on board

» Successfully staging the African Nations Championship in January


»?Could have dealt better with the sacking of former Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund

» Safa still does not have a technical director

» The Bafana match-fixing scandal is not closed

» Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana’s suspension is still an issue, almost a year on. He has made it clear he will fight to the bitter end to be reinstated

» There are still issues with the ABC Motsepe League as cases have still not been resolved in time

» Safa has failed to reduce the national ­executive committee as Jordaan promised in his campaign manifesto

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