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Safa's amendments on National Soccer League deferred for consultation

SA Football Association acting chief executive Russell Paul is expected to take over the post on a full time basis.
SA Football Association acting chief executive Russell Paul is expected to take over the post on a full time basis.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Several amendments regarding the National Soccer League (NSL) were deferred for further consultation at a SA Football Association (Safa) extraordinary meeting at Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday.

Safa acting chief executive Russell Paul said it was decided that the proposed amendments should be discussed further‚ in consultation with the NSL‚ which oversees the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and National First Division (NFD)‚ at the Safa-PSL joint liaison committee (JLC).

The amendments included that “all members including Associate Members and the Special Member [NSL] shall be subordinate to Safa”.

Another proposed that the NSL shall “immediately communicate to Safa its intention to discuss‚ consider or enter into negotiations with a sponsor or any person or a group of persons for a sponsorship or the raising of funds”.

Another stated: “To ensure every sponsorship without exception is negotiated in the best interest of football in the country in consultation with Safa and with the written permission of Safa.”

Paul said Safa had decided not enough consultation had been made on the amendments with the NSL.

"The Council felt there had been insufficient consultation‚" he said.

"In October when we met as a JLC we said that there needs to be greater cooperation‚ unity and communication between the parties.

"So the matter's been deferred to a JLC. It may be an expanded JLC‚ we don't know."

The amendments matched many of the concerns raised by Safa in a heavily-worded statement soon after the NSL raised objections to a refereeing sponsorship signed with insurance company OUTsurance by the association in September.

Paul was asked if the amendment proposals were related to that much-documented clash.

"As far as the OUTsurance matter is concerned and as far as any of the other perceived differences between the NSL and Safa‚ the NSL is a member of Safa. They accept that‚" he said.

"And again‚ we agreed that we will resolve our matter behind close doors. There's no need for us to talk in the media and fight each other if there is a fight to be had.

"I can't comment how we will deal with the matter. We have agreed that we will deal with it in a matured fashion in the best interest of football."

The OUTsurance dispute - where PSL sponsors asked questions about a diminishing of their rights - remains with the JLC.

Paul said a proposal by Safa-Cape Town that the NSL be changed from having six votes as a Safa special member to two‚ in line with an associate member‚ was withdrawn.

"Everybody has the right to make their proposals‚ however they see fit‚" Paul said. "In the spirit of unification and camaraderie‚ it was felt in the best interest - and by the region - to withdraw it."

He said an amendment proposed by the SA Masters and Legends Football Association (SAMLFA) that the ex-pros body change from an associate to a special member was also withdrawn.

Safa president Danny Jordaan was not present at the extraordinary meeting as he was in Ghana to watch Banyana Banyana meet Nigeria in Saturday evening's Africa Women Cup of Nations final.

Safa will announce a loss of R15.8m at their AGM on Sunday‚ also at Sandton Convention Centre .

Paul said this was directly related to stalled negotiations for Safa to renew its annual broadcast agreement with the SA Broadcasting Corporation [SABS]‚ which last year was worth R110m.

"It's like a bittersweet scenario for tomorrow's congress‚" the acting CEO said. "In one part the congress is a celebration of success.

"The [girls] Under-17s qualifying for their World Cup‚ Banyana's success qualifying for the World Cup and hopefully winning the Women's Cup of Nations.

"The bitter side is that we are having to post a loss of R15‚8m. And it is largely‚ in fact solely‚ due to the fact that we were unable to finalise a broadcast deal with the SABC."

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