FF+: Quota proposal arrogant

Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Threats by sports minister Fikile Mbalula about quotas in South African sport are far removed from reality, the FFPlus said on Tuesday.

"The arrogance and ignorance which appear from the proposals are astonishing," said sports spokesman Anton Alberts in a statement.

"Where sport was used, starting with the first Rugby World Cup in 1995 until the last Soccer World Cup in South Africa in 2010, to promote nation building, it is now being used to cause division and racial alienation."

Mbalula's arrogance to threaten the world that South African teams would not participate against them, took one's breath away, he said.

On Saturday, SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) President Gideon Sam and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said athletics, cricket, football, netball and rugby were falling behind with transformation and development.

"On 25 March, we received the pilot study on the status of transformation in sport and the findings were shocking," said Mbalula at a Sascoc general meeting held at Olympic House on Saturday.

Mbalula then announced far-reaching measures in a bid to turn the picture around.

He said the quota system, as instructed in the national Sports Plan of 2011, would be aggressively put into practice.

"We will insist on a change from a 50-50 proportion to a 40-60 representation both provincially and nationally."

Development plans from the five bodies -- athletics, cricket, football, netball and rugby -- would be sought, said the minister.

Alberts said it could asked whether Mbalula had thought about the impact enforcing such quotas would have on sponsorships, and the support of teams who were not allowed to compete internationally anymore.

"It will not only destroy sports people's careers and lives, but it will also destroy sport in South Africa," he said.

"The example of soccer has been used a lot. But it could be dusted down... to be used as an example again. Bafana was until recently still ranked 54th on the Fifa's List of Rankings with a team of nearly exclusively black players."

Government would break something which worked in the name of transformation, just as they were currently doing with South Africa, and then blame apartheid, he said.
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