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SOUTH African soccer supremo Irvin Khoza has received backing from former professional players to lead Safa as its next president.
The SA Football Masters Association announced yesterday that they will vote for Khoza to take over from incumbent Molefi Oliphant as Safa president on September 26.
Jacob "Buddah" Mathathe, one of the leaders of the Masters, said they were pledging their unconditional support for Khoza to lead Safa.
Members of the Masters' structure include Trott Moloto, Brian Tlale, Patrick Molala, Pepe Dire, Dance Malete, Zacharia Lamola, Victor Selane, Shakes Mashaba and Johnny Masegela.
As an associate of Safa, the Masters have one vote. Safa has a total of nine associate members.
The other eight represent the defence force, the medical association, university sport, schools football, coaches, the industrial league, the deaf and intellectually impaired.
The Premier Soccer League, as a special member of Safa, has six votes. Each of the 52 Safa regions has four votes each. In terms of the Safa constitution, each of the 25 national executive committee members is entitled to one vote each.
Khoza is one of three South African sports leaders who have been endorsed to lead Safa after Oliphant announced that he will not seek re-election. The other two, who have been endorsed by the Football Transformation Forum, are Danny Jordaan and Kirsten Nematendani.
The nomination lists are still being verified by Safa's auditors and will be made public early next week.
Said Mathathe: "We have deliberated and a decision has been taken that we will vote for Dr Khoza to be our president. We need a person who will take the development of Safa in general to greater heights. Dr Khoza's track record at Safa speaks volumes. Safa will also benefit a lot financially with Dr Khoza in charge."