'Ace' Ncobo defiant after Cosafa slam ‘ill-informed’ statements

Former top referee Andile ‘Ace’ Ncobo (C).
Former top referee Andile ‘Ace’ Ncobo (C).
Image: Mahlatse Mphahalle

Cosafa president Dr Phillip Chiyangwa has labelled comments that were made by Andile “Ace” Ncobo in criticism of the regional organisation at a press conference this week as “inaccurate and ill-informed”.

Ncobo‚ in response‚ dared Cosafa president Phillip Chiyangwa to charge him if he feels strongly that he has made unfounded‚ uninformed allegations about the regional organisation.

On Friday morning‚ Cosafa (the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations) said in a strongly-worded statement that they are dismayed by comments made by Ncobo on Thursday.

Former referee Ncobo had said that Chiyangwa lied when he said he was sent by Fifa to mediate during a meeting between himself and South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan‚ regarding issues surrounding the now-postponed Safa presidential elections.

Cosafa’s statement read: “We are dismayed by the statements made by Ace Ncobo regarding the role of the president of Cosafa Dr Phillip Chiyangwa with regards his mediation efforts within the South African Football Association.

“Ncobo’s statements are inaccurate and ill-informed and show a lack of understanding of regional football structures.

“Dr Chiyangwa‚ as the president of the Zonal Union‚ is the chief representative of Caf and Fifa with regards to Zonal matters and it was in this capacity that the president was requested by Fifa to mediate in the Safa presidency matter.”

Chiyangwa was quoted as saying: “I treat with the contempt they deserve the statements made over the past weeks by Ncobo.

“COSAFA is a legal entity and will not stand for this unfounded and uninformed criticism and allegations. Ncobo is advised to desist.”

Ncobo‚ though‚ was defiant and maintained his allegation.

“They [Cosafa] must take action against me but I will prove that he [Chiyangwa] was not sent by Fifa to the meeting between me and Danny Jordaan‚” Ncobo said.

“I have correspondence from the secretary-general of Cosafa‚ Sue Destombes‚ to that effect. I have it in writing and the audio of the telephone conversation between myself and Sue Destombes.

“If he was sent by Fifa‚ then why did Fifa’s director of African and Caribbean Member Associations‚ Veron Mosengo-Omba‚ feel the need to come to South Africa for the same thing?

“He [Chiyangwa] was not sent by Fifa and when you have been sent by Fifa you don’t hold a press conference.”

Destombes‚ contacted by SowetanLIVE‚ responded that Chiyangwa was sent to South Africa at the directive of Mosengo-Omba‚ who was acting on behalf Fifa.

“As far as I am concerned‚ Chiyangwa was sent to South Africa for the meeting by Veron Mosengo-Omba. who represent Fifa‚” Destombes said.