Nematandani must work for unity

CONGRATULATIONS to Kirsten Nematandani on his elevation to Safa el supremo status.

CONGRATULATIONS to Kirsten Nematandani on his elevation to Safa el supremo status.

He had an outside chance in the run-up to the election. Both Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan were considered favourites. They withdrew unexpectedly and handed Nematandani victory - unopposed.

Now that he has won one hopes he will work hard to unite the organisation. He inherits an organisation that is fraught with back-stabbing, mistrust and loyalty to certain individuals.

He does not inherit an entirely dysfunctional organisation, though. Safa is the first association in Africa to host a World Cup. A lot of money has been channeled into its coffers through sponsorship.

Nematandani takes over from Molefi Oliphant, who was not an entirely objective and hands-on leader. He was seen as being too lenient to some individuals.

He neglected football development totally. South Africa has only qualified for one youth World Cup in the last 10 years. It is a bad indictment for an organisation with so much resources to struggle to compete at such an important football development event.

Nematandani has a big task ahead of him. He first has to unite the two rival camps within Safa and ensure they work towards a common goal. He will have to be seen to be his own person, rather than someone's puppet.

His new executive must start planning for the 2012 Afcon in Equatorial Guinea, the World Cup in 2014, ensure PSL teams are competitive in continental football and, most importantly, ensure we qualify for every youth tournament we participate in.

It will not be a bed of roses but I have confidence in Nematandani to deliver on his mandate.

Kiekie Mboweni,