Safa election dogfight continues

THE SAFA election scheduled for September 26 has been dubbed the battle between the African National Congress (ANC) and Congress of the People (Cope).

The influential Irvin Khoza leads the faction that is known as the ANC in soccer circles, with Danny Jordaan in charge of the other group dubbed Cope.

Kirsten Nematendani has also been endorsed by Cope - known as the Football Transformation Forum - as their second preferred candidate for the position of president.

The hotly contested position of Safa president will become vacant when incumbent Molefi Oliphant steps down. He has announced he will not seek re-election and has refused to stand-in until after the 2010 World Cup.

Khoza is the chairperson of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), while Jordaan serves on the same organisation as chief executive officer.

Nematendani is the president of Vhembe region, a member of Safa management committee, referees committee convenor and the new Peter Mokaba Stadium manager.

Safa has three deputy president positions. Two are elected during the congress while the third goes to whoever is elected chairman of the Premier Soccer League.

Those who have been nominated for the two positions of Safa deputy president are Nakedi Lekota, Mubarak Mohammed, Obakeng Molatedi, David Nhlabathi, Mandla Mazibuko, Mwelo Nonkonyana and Henry Mosese.

The PSL executive committee will meet in the next few days to decide who their chairman will be should Khoza be elected president of Safa.

Various Absa Premiership and National First Division club owners have already approached Kaizer Motaung to be their chairperson after the Safa election.

In what is seen as a strategic move to have the election postponed, Fifa instructed whoever wins between Khoza and Jordaan to resign his LOC position.

This was after Safa decided to go ahead with the election.

Sowetan has learnt that there is group mobilising to force an abandonment of the election.

This group will, instead of voting when the item comes up on the agenda, simply walk out.

Irrespective of the outcome of the election, Safa has already decided that, for the sake of continuity, none of its executive members on the LOC will be affected.

This includes Oliphant, Anastasia Tsichlas and Kenneth Lebenya, who will also not stand for re-election to the Safa executive. Safa president automatically becomes an LOC board member.