Wrangling hurts soccer

IF WE wanted to be simplistic, we would announce who between the bickering South African Football Association and Premier Soccer League are the good and the bad guys.

IF WE wanted to be simplistic, we would announce who between the bickering South African Football Association and Premier Soccer League are the good and the bad guys.

There is unfortunately the posturing by both the victorious and vanquished factions at the last Safa elections, which suggests that football continues to be the biggest loser. The PSL insists on casting doubt on the legitimacy of the new leadership, while the winners seem hell-bent on showing who the boss is.

The PSL seems intent on using its financial muscle and control of the industry's most important assets - the players - to counter any of Safa's ambitious plans, while the language used by Safa president Kirsten Nematendani's supporters smacks of post-Polokwane-type triumphalism.

Influential leaders of the association are already using language such as "recalling" of those who happen to have backed the wrong horse.

It is a pity too that once again Minister of Sports and Recreation Makhenkesi Stofile and the rather cantankerous chairperson of the portfolio committee on sport, Butana Komphela, have not seen it worth their time and effort to call the football authorities to order.

It is something of a cliché that the game is bigger than any individual, but that does not diminish the truth of the statement. South African football has enough problems as it is to have to massage the egos of adults.

Leadership from either party requires that they put the interest of the game ahead of their own egotistical urges.

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