Hack no longer fitted into ‘Safa’s vision of the future’, says Safa president Nematandani

2010-01-07 00:00

WHILE Raymond Hack is adamant that he was not pushed when he resigned as CEO of the SA Football Association yesterday, the language from the association was clear and it is an open secret the administrator was no longer wanted.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani, appointed in a fiery and controversial election held on September 26, said at yesterday’s hastily-arranged press conference at Safa House that Hack no longer fits into Safa’s “vision for the future”.

Hack was known as an ally of LOC chairman Irvin Khoza, who has been at the centre of a power struggle in South African football with LOC CEO Danny Jordaan since the two ran for the Safa presidency.

Both stepped down due to an eligibility issue, allowing Nematandani, a member of the Jordaan-backing Football Transformation Forum, to be elected uncontested. Khoza has vowed to take the election result to court, but both sides have agreed to a truce until after the World Cup.

The decision to release Hack might be seen by the Khoza camp as a provocation to the truce.

Nematandani said: “When you have been with a person for as long a time as we have been with Mr Hack, it becomes very difficult to part ways — no matter the reasons.

“But we did a lot of soul-searching, a lot of introspection and we believe we have come to the right decision, which was arrived at amicably.

“Every organisation has a vision, and in terms of us going forward we felt it was correct that we release Mr Hack from his duties and continue the vision with someone else. He [Hack] has run his race and the new CEO will be announced on Thursday morning.”

Front-runners for the position are reported to be former School of Excellence principal and now LOC manager Steve Pila and experienced administrator and Soccer City manager Dennis Mumble. Whoever is appointed is expected to take the position in a caretaker role, with Jordaan becoming the permanent incumbent after the World Cup.

Hack was appointed Safa CEO in 2005, having been in the position in a caretaker capacity while Jordaan was campaigning for the World Cup.

“It has been a privilege for me to serve South African soccer for a period of between five and six years in such an important role, and I was due to terminate my position after the World Cup in any case,” Hack said.

An attorney by profession, Hack denied that there might be sinister reasons behind his resignation, or any clash of personality and ideology with the new Safa leadership.

“As far as I’m concerned, they [the Safa leadership] have a vision, which they want to execute and go forward for the next four years ... I was there to serve football and that is what I have done,” he said.

“Basically ... the new executive has a four-year plan. I’ve indicated all along that I will not be continuing after [the] 2010 World Cup on a full time basis, and on that basis it was agreed mutually between the two parties.”

Hack presided over a period at Safa during which Bafana Bafana slipped from the top 30s to their current world ranking of 85th. During that period, Safa was heavily criticised for not installing a co-ordinated national development plan in the build-up to 2010.

The truce over its presidency issue has not stopped Safa from withholding its R250 000 annual grant to regions that are refusing to recognise Nematandani as president, according to a report in the Daily Dispatch.

Safa vice president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana said the organisation has acted properly as it wants to nip unruly behaviour in the bud.

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