Safa eThekwini still remains an elephant in the room for the national football governing body, but there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
The eThekwini region has been a headache for Safa since 2013, when two factions emerged – one under the presidency of Alpha Mchunu and one led by Mazwi Mkhize.
As a result of the ongoing conflict, the SAB League that was supposed to kick off in October failed to do so. Clubs formed a task team to come up with an action plan that resulted in the disruption and abandonment of an ABC Motsepe League match at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont last month.
However, a beaming Safa acting chief executive Russell Paul told City Press that the SAB League was kicking off this weekend and matches were to be played yesterday and today as fixtures had already been issued.
“I am pleased to inform you that at least the SAB League matter has been resolved and clubs will start playing this weekend,” Paul said on Thursday.
This followed a meeting between Safa’s head of membership affairs, Paseka Nkoni, with Mkhize and Mchunu. Safa agreed to appoint them as joint administrators for the SAB League and the pair issued out fixtures to affiliated clubs.
Asked how Safa was planning to resolve the matter of the separate factions, Paul said: “We hope by working together Alpha and Mazwi will bring their factions into one unit.”
Ulwandle Academy boss Stripes Dlamini, who heads the eThekwini SAB League task team, said not all clubs – including his – would start playing this weekend.
“We received the fixtures, however, there are still some outstanding issues that have not been resolved,” Dlamini said yesterday.
“We are awaiting clarity, including an official letter from Safa head office informing us about the appointment of Mkhize and Mchunu as the administrators.”
He said other outstanding issues that needed clarity included:
. Vetting of teams because they knew of only 48, but the fixture list that was released had 95;
. An action plan to explain how the league would be run; which teams would host home games and how that would be determined, and how the promotion and relegation processes would work; and
. A proper handover from Kwenzakwakhe Ngwenya (Safa KwaZulu-Natal provincial chairperson and national executive committee member) to the new administrators, plus a report explaining when the clubs would receive their prize monies from the last season.
On Thursday, Paul confirmed what Ngwenya had previously told City Press that the Safa eThekwini SAB League task team was not a recognised official structure, but had engaged them in the past only “as concerned stakeholders”.
Meanwhile, Paul revealed that a task team appointed to deal with the Safa uMgungundlovu matter – after Nkoni had dissolved two parallel structures that were running there – had been given a deadline to table the report of their investigation at a Safa meeting in Durban on March 29.
The team consists of Jeremiah Mdlalose, Thabile Msomi, Leonard Shiba and Advocate Siphiwe Xaba.