Safa to investigate leaks

2010-03-31 11:28

The SA Football Association (Safa) has distanced itself from

weekend reports that vice-president Irvin Khoza was plotting a coup to topple

the body’s leadership.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said yesterday his association

was concerned about the two reports (in the Sunday Times and City Press) and

said Safa would investigate them.

Safa has warned their members about speaking to the media without


But when pushed that a member of his board had planted the story in

both newspapers, Nematandani said: “I do not believe any member of Safa would

stoop that low. I am as keen as you to get to the truth. But this story was not

planted by Safa.

“If we find it was any member of Safa who broke our rules and

planted this story he will be kicked out of Safa.”

Earlier in the day Khoza, who also chairs the 2010 World Cup Local

Organising Committee, condemned the articles and said he was committed to Safa

and also to South Africa staging a successful World Cup.

The “soccer war” broke out last September when Nematandani was

elected as Safa president in place of Khoza at the yearly general meeting.

Khoza was upset and said that he reserved the right to challenge

the elections after the World Cup finals.

But Khoza stressed he would not do anything that would harm the

successful running of the first World Cup finals on home soil. Hence he would

postpone his challenge to Safa until after the World Cup final at Soccer City on

July 11.

When asked if he expected the uneasy truce established yesterday to

end after the World Cup finals on July 11, Nematandani said he was not afraid of

a challenge by Khoza.

Sunday newspapers alleged that Khoza had tried to destabalise the

Safa regions. Khoza strongly denied this.

But Nematandani said: “We do not know who but there were moves to

oust current leaders of certain Safa regions. We accept a challenge but not the

way this is being done. But we need to collect more information on this matter

and charge the person or persons responsible. Most importantly we need to

protect the integrity of the World Cup.”

Nematandani said that both Safa and the 2010 LOC leadership gave an

unequivocal undertaking to Fifa president Sepp Blatter in Zurich and later to

President Jacob Zuma of the successful delivery of the World Cup.

“Safa also agreed not to make any changes to the governance

structure of the 2010 LOC. It is our firm belief that there are no disagreements

(with Khoza) regarding the delivery of the World Cup and acknowledge and

appreciate Dr Khoza’s statement this morning indicating that these are merely

perceived differences.”

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