club sales on agenda

RESOLUTE: Safa president Molefi Oliphant. Pic. Lefty Shivambu. 20/06/2007. © Gallo Images
RESOLUTE: Safa president Molefi Oliphant. Pic. Lefty Shivambu. 20/06/2007. © Gallo Images

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The days of South African supporters being treated like dirt by certain money-minded club owners will soon be a thing of the past.

This is after Safa decided to tackle the sale and relocation of clubs, which has contributed to the dwindling of support.

Safa's national executive committee will discuss this thorny issue at a meeting today at Safa House at Nasrec.

Some club owners have for some time been subjecting their powerless supporters to this shabby treatment, all in the name of remedying their "poverty" by selling teams at random.

Some of the owners also used to argue that relocating the clubs after buying them was also helping to spread professional or semi-professional football to other provinces.

But more than anything, that has proved to be counterproductive in the long run as such clubs do not even have proper development programmes.

Today's meeting is line with the Fifa congress resolution in Sydney in May where it was decided that clubs should remain in the area where they are based after they are sold.

Sepp Blatter, Fifa president, is strongly against the relocation of clubs from one city to the other after being bought by a new owner or owners.

His argument is that some of the players members of their communities were adversely affected by the relocation of clubs after they were sold.

The sale of clubs in the past five seasons, especially those in the Premiership, has been a cause for concern to many.

When Tembisa Classic returned to the Premiership five years ago, Ekurhuleni resi- dents were celebrating, only to start crying after the club was sold soon afterwards and relocated.

It was renamed Maritzburg United after being sold to a consortium in KwaZulu-Natal.

Other clubs affected by relocation after being sold include Hellenic, which became Benoni Premier United and later Thanda Zulu Royal, while Dynamos became AmaZulu.

Today's meeting is so important that the 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee executive gathering, which was also scheduled for today, has been postponed.

"We are going to look at the sale of clubs as per the Fifa resolution and changes of headquarters," Safa president Molefi Oliphant.

"We will also deal with the issues relating to the activities of referees in general.

"The meeting will also discuss the rules and regulations of all the Safa competitions and the financial statement of the association.

"These are some of the issues that we feel should be attended to before the next routine Safa executive committee meeting"

The biggest challenge for Safa's highest decision making body is when are they going to put the long overdue ruling in place.

The executive committee will also discuss the appointment of a technical director .