Safa is shooting itself in the foot 

Jordaan & Co’s actions deserve red card

Two pressing matters dominated the local football space this week. First, it was the axing of two SA Football Association (Safa) vice-presidents Ria Ledwaba and Gay Mokoena.

Intriguingly, they remain members of the national football governing body’s national executive committee (NEC).

The second was the opening up of football to resume training by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Finally, clubs are gearing up, preparing for the conclusion of the 2019/20 soccer season, which was suspended three months ago amid lockdown restrictions to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, this week saw a spike in infections among Premier Soccer League players.

I must admit the former is a more pressing matter – what happened at the Safa NEC meeting last weekend when the two officials were given their marching orders.

I don’t for a moment believe Ledwaba could be so naive as to take such drastic measures of writing to Mthethwa asking him to intervene, and Mokoena drawing up the infamous “Mokoena Report” that was damning to the incumbent Safa president Danny Jordaan, without exhausting all internal avenues.

To say the “Mokoena Report” was critical of Jordaan’s style of running Safa is an understatement. Mokoena, the former acting CEO of Safa, made allegations that prompted his boss to request that he vacate his position.

Mokoena stepped down as CEO in April, almost five months after being appointed to the position on an interim basis. Long-time football administrator Ledwaba’s fallout with Jordaan and his executive stems from agreeing with Mokoena’s scathing allegations against Jordaan that the politically connected Safa boss had thrown the Safa constitution book out of the window.

As NEC members, how on earth will they continue working with Jordaan after so many outbursts and accusations? Many who have worked closely with Jordaan at Safa believe his axe is not done chopping.

I dare say the Safa camp is divided right down the middle – those in support of Jordaan, voting to remove Ledwaba and Mokoena, and those opposed to the latest shenanigans. To add salt to an open wound, Jordaan & Co fired the duo and then gagged them.

That is just not on. What happened to freedom of speech, comrade Jordaan?

As far as Jordaan and his exco’s thinking goes, flushing out the noisemakers is the only way to solve Safa’s problems.

I tend to disagree.

To the contrary, the nation is watching and I should believe the latest episode will bring the sports ministry into the fray, not only to intervene, but to put football on the right footing as the number one sport in the country.

If need be, let’s have Mthethwa instituting a commission of inquiry in the mould of the Pickard Commission of the 1990s that eventually led to the downfall of untouchable football el supremo, the late Solomon “Stix” Morewa.

Safa, as a brand that is struggling to find sponsors as no company wants to be associated with it, is further shooting itself in the foot and needs rescuing soon.


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