Ncobo's Safa candidature is a positive move for football

18 July 2008, New General Manager Ace Ncobo (Referee of the Season) during the announcement of the new PSL General Manager held at the PSL House in Johannesburg, South Africa.
18 July 2008, New General Manager Ace Ncobo (Referee of the Season) during the announcement of the new PSL General Manager held at the PSL House in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Ace Ncobo's emergence as a candidate for the presidency of the SA Football Association is a breath of fresh air.

Ex-referee Ncobo was on Monday confirmed by Safa as the man to challenge incumbent Danny Jordaan in next month's presidential poll, although according to the association he received just one out of 53 nominations, with the rest apparently going to Jordaan.

Ncobo's name had hitherto not been mentioned anywhere since Safa resolved late last year to bring forward the elective congress, with the likes of Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, Tokyo Sexwale, Lucas Radebe and even former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba being bandied about.

In the end, however, Safa tells us only two people will contest the presidency on March 24. That Jordaan was going to seek re-election was a given.

Those opposed to his regime allege he lobbied for the elective congress to be brought forward so that his challengers won't have time to campaign to unseat him.

Of course Jordaan and his praise-singers - led by the so-called Football Transformation Forum - deny this, reasoning that the decision to bring the elections forward from September to next month was voted for by an "overwhelming" majority.

Other allegations are that regions which were seen as not toeing Jordaan's line were victimised, but these claims could not be proven. Whatever the truth, the fact that Ncobo managed to get onto the voters' roll is something to be cherished.

It has really been a bizarre past few weeks where almost every person who dared rear his head as a potential challenger to Jordaan was promptly shot down by the so-called FTF, due to "ineligibility".

Nonkonyana, a former Safa vice-president, was told he could not run because he's been "expelled" from football, while former Bafana captain Radebe was said to have not belonged to any Safa structure.

The same goes for Sexwale, who has served at Fifa. Mashaba received no backing from the grossly inept, flip-flopping SA Masters and Legends Association, which called us to confirm his candidature and withdrew their backing a few days later.

I feared we would have an uncontested election, where the FTF, so-called, was being used to clear the path for Jordaan to be the sole candidate.

Leadership positions must be contested to ensure there's a constant check on those who are in power. Otherwise we risk a dictatorship.

I thus welcome Ncobo's nomination. He's knowledgeable and has served as PSL general manager.

He's a former Fifa referee who was meticulous in his craft. Good luck to Ncobo, 50, who might not win.

But getting his name on the ballot is definitely a victory against potential tyranny in our football.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X