Safa polls to go ahead

SAFA look set to defy Fifa by going ahead with the much-anticipated annual general meeting as per their constitution to elect new office-bearers this year.

In terms of their constitution the elections are scheduled to take place this year - September 26 in Johannesburg. Yesterday the Inkatha Freedom Party joined Fifa, calling on Safa to postpone the elections to ensure that the 2010 World Cup preparations are not disrupted.

Fifa's concern is that the elections are pitting two senior officials against each other for the position of president: the local organising committee's chairman, Irvin Khoza, and chief executive Danny Jordaan.

But the Azanian People's Organisation and the Democratic Alliance said the elections must go ahead as per the constitution of Safa, as long as Safa is convinced will not affect World Cup preparations.

Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke on Tuesday said they would have preferred a postponement.

Safa president Molefi Oliphant said: "Even if I wanted to stay on as Safa president, it's too late because the nomination list is coming out this weekend."

Valcke said on Tuesday that whoever gets elected Safa president will have to relinquish his position on the board of directors.

Sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile is leaving the issue in the hands of the Safa structures. Azapo spokesman Mokoatedi Radingoana said: "The preparations will not be disrupted. It is not about Dr Khoza and Dr Jordaan, we also have government fully involved. In the next few days, Fifa will be sending more people from Zurich. Safa has a constitution, which must be respected, otherwise. it allows outsiders dictate to them."