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No answer as to why there's such animosity in structures

By Daniel Mothowagae | 2017-07-14 08:30:26.0

The SA Football Association (Safa) has scoffed at suggestions that the ongoing impasse between the football governing body and SA Schools Football Association (Sasfa) could be a power play between Safa president Danny Jordaan and Sasfa's Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko.

"There is no need to further demonstrate any power in what has been an otherwise smooth process of talks that led to an agreement to develop a new structure under Safa," Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said yesterday.

Mazibuko said he too was trying to figure out why there has been such animosity between the two structures, but "I can't find the answers".

He, however, questioned why Safa was refusing to respond to their bid to resolve the dispute, pointing to a letter - written on their behalf by the lawyers - that Sasfa addressed to Safa lawyers a fortnight ago.

"We have never ruled out an out-of-court resolution, but we are prepared to go to court in the context of Sasfa's statements of yesterday [Wednesday]," Chimhavi said, referring to the pending appeal hearing set for August 7.

Sasfa came out guns blazing this week, staging a conference as a response to Safa's recent launch of "a united single body" to run schools sport. They also accused Safa of luring two of Sasfa's executive members - vice-presidents Dickson Moleka and Innocent Sirovha - under false pretences to a meeting launching the "new schools' body" last week.

Mazibuko is of the view that Safa was "trying to eliminate Sasfa so that nobody is there [at court] and they get a walkover".

"This unity is founded not on good principles, but out of lies and misleading people.

"Maybe the idea was to break Sasfa. They tried but they could not - constitutionally and legally," Mazibuko said.

Chimhavi countered: "Safa has agreed it must grow schools football by unifying it throughout the country and has done so consistently over the past two years, running schools football competitions and integrating it into its 52 regional structures."

Safa was in charge of the SA Schools Championships that concluded in Durban yesterday, but KwaZulu-Natal-based Sasfa executive Smanga Mgenge said: "Safa only rocks up at the national event when the event was initiated by Sasfa. We don't dispute the fact that they are the mother of all football in SA, but we [Sasfa] run school football."