Sono welcomes change at Safa

CLUB owner and one of the country's top football personalities JOMO Sono saysthe changing of the guard in the South African Football Association hierarchy could be good for the game.

CLUB owner and one of the country's top football personalities JOMO Sono saysthe changing of the guard in the South African Football Association hierarchy could be good for the game.

Sono, dubbed the "Black Prince" in his playing days, is also a former Bafana Bafana coach.

He said he welcomed new Safa president Kirsten Nematandani, who was elected as the country's top soccer official at a marathon Safa annual general meeting in Kempton Park on Saturday.

Said Sono: "I phoned Kirsten after his election to congratulate him. Sometimes change is good for football. I think this was a good time to change leaders and I hope he will benefit our soccer."

Nematandani replaced Molefi Oliphant, who led Safa for 12 years. But the Limpopo-based official was the outsider and won the election after two heavyweights, Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza, eventually withdrew their challenge for the presidency at a tense meeting, leaving Nematandani unopposed.

Said Sono: "I rate both Jordaan and Khoza highly as administrators. But maybe having a new kid on the block will help Safa and soccer in this country. He (Nematandani) is linked to Jordaan and will have the support of a capable administrator."

Nematandani is part of the Football Transformation Forum that Jordaan formed and headed in order to win the Safa presidency.

But Sono said the new Safa boss had a major challenge ahead of him.

"I was worried about whether people might get carried away by the R1billion or so that Fifa will reward Safa with after the 2010 World Cup. The money must be ploughed back into the game. The local game badly needs a boost."

Sono said he was saddened by the fact that the South African Under-20 side competing at the World Youth Championship in Egypt has been ignored by the media in favour of the weekend's hotly contested Safa elections.

"The SA Under-20 players should be on the front pages of newspapers and the Safa elections at the back. But it is the other way round and that is sad.

"Administrators should not become bigger than players. After all, without the players none of us would be here. It is up to Kirsten to develop and put back something into the game." - Sapa

X