Another own goal by Safa

Safa President Danny Jordaan.
Safa President Danny Jordaan.
Image: © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

The SA Football Association (Safa) found itself attracting negative headlines again last weekend, with two reports claiming the organisation's leadership may have met with the controversial Gupta family in the lead-up to the 2010 World Cup.

The reports claimed an affidavit deposed by former Safa chief executive Leslie Sedibe alleges the Guptas helped Safa seek financial assistance from the National Lotteries commission, among others.

It's common cause that Sedibe has had a long-running battle with Safa, and in particular Fifa, after the world football governing body banned him for his alleged role in the pre-2010 World Cup match-fixing scandal.

Sedibe has complained that Fifa did not offer him a platform to air his views on the matter before banning him. He has also blamed Safa for apparently not availing some of the material which might have been useful for him to take on the world football governing body.

There is clearly animosity between Sedibe and Safa.

This week, Safa responded to his allegations by dispatching two media statements dismissing the claims.

"Safa and [Danny] Jordaan reserve their rights in this matter, and will seek to take the necessary legal action against Leslie Sedibe," Safa said in one statement.

The finger-pointing and accusatory tone between the two parties is not good for the image of football in the country.

Sedibe is correctly aggrieved that Fifa slapped him with a ban, but making wild allegations might not help his cause. We call for both parties to come to their senses and resolve their differences amicably.

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