Safa puts Solly Phasha out to pasture

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Solly "Magic Sol" Phasha, a prominent South African Football Association staff member, has been ordered not to set foot at the federation's premises in Johannesburg when they reopen after the festive season holidays on Monday.

Phasha said when they closed for the holidays on December 12 Safa chief executive Raymond Hack told him not to come back.

Phasha was employed by Safa as a director in charge of executive support, a position which has since been scrapped.

"Solly has retired, he has served the association very well and we thank him for his immense contribution," said Hack when approached for comment.

Hack strongly denied there was bad blood between Safa and Phasha as a result of the latest developments.

But Phasha told Sowetanhe never applied for any retirement package.

"He [Hack] told me not to come back to the office. I want to make it clear I did not apply for any pension package, you can speak to them [Safa] for clarity on the matter."

The 60-year-old Phasha insists that he had agreed with Safa that he would retire at 65.

Molefi Oliphant, Safa president, corroborated Hack's statement that Phasha had retired.

"There are documents to that effect that were signed by Solly himself," said Oliphant.

Phasha, who is also known as "My Brother" in soccer circles, dealt with car, flight and accommodation bookings and other logistics-related duties for all Safa national executive committee members as part of his job.

He is also a close friend of Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou.

Phasha joined Safa in 1985 when it was still operating under the name of the South African Soccer Association. At that time, he was managing the Chappies Under-12 Little League.

Last year at the MTN Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, Phasha was treated like a king as a special guest of Hayatou.

Phasha, who had a personal driver for the duration of the tournament, was chauffeured around in a luxury German car and flew around the west African country in a state-owned private jet with Ghanaian politicians and CAF executive members.