The SA Football Association (Safa) National Executive Committee NEC has agreed to withdraw long-serving football administrator Anastasia Tsichlas as one of the Safa vice-presidents after she withdrew her arbitration process in the interest of putting football first.
Tsichlas said in a statement today that after she was unanimously appointed as Safa vice-president at the association’s NEC meeting last Saturday, her appointment was scrutinised and questioned.
This comes after former vice-president Ledwaba’s controversial removal, together with Gay Mokoena as vice-presidents in June, however, Ledwaba did not leave her sacking lying down and vowed to fight until she was reinstated.
Tsichlas had no option but to seek arbitration after fierce opposition against her appointment last weekend but has since withdrawn the process “in the interest of football and considering going the legal route would be prolonged and costly”.
“I always believed that the money in football must be used to promote the development of football. I, therefore, requested a consultation on the matter,” said Tsichlas in a statement.
“Having consulted and deliberated with NEC members on the matter and having considered my submission, I agreed that it would be wise to withdraw from the arbitration process and reinstate Ria Ledwaba as vice-president of Safa.
“This, however, must in my view not be regarded as my agreeing with or condoning any act of misconduct or turning a blind eye to any wrongdoing.
“The women on the Safa executive were insulted, abused, humiliated and even had their lives threatened by people who have made no contribution to the growth of football in our country.
“I am happy that I could convince the NEC then and express my appreciation to the NEC to agree to withdraw from the arbitration and to reinstate Ria Ledwaba.”
Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said, “Safa is happy to endorse the presentation of Natasha Tsichlas and to support it from one of our selfless women leaders who offered to step back from the vice-president post for Ria Ledwaba to return.
“We want to reiterate that this must not be viewed as condonation of wrong-doing but a response from an internationally recognized woman leader in football.
‘’We further agreed that the money that would have been spent on legal costs is better served to provide our 52 Regions with financial support to further football development.”