Tensions escalate as PSL boycotts Safa's congress

League says gathering's agenda 'suspicious'

Nkareng Matshe Sports editor
A general view of the Premier Soccer League offices in Parktown, Johannesburg. File photo:
A general view of the Premier Soccer League offices in Parktown, Johannesburg. File photo:
Image: Gallo images/Sharon Seretto

The simmering war between the PSL and Safa seems to have reached a crescendo after the league announced yesterday it would boycott the local football governing body’s congress this weekend.

In a statement, the PSL said its “executive committee unanimously resolved” it must “not attend the workshop/Indaba or the ordinary Safa congress”, in what is a clear indication that relations between the organisations – forever at each other’s throats for reasons known only to them – are anything but harmonised.

It remains unclear why the PSL is boycotting the three-day gathering, which begins with a workshop today and tomorrow and concludes with Sunday’s congress, but the league said it reached the conclusion after looking at the agenda sent out by Safa.

While Sowetan has seen the 13-point agenda, it is understood the PSL may have been fearing what an insider said could be an “ambush” about certain outstanding matters, including club licensing, which most clubs in the league have failed to comply with.

This led to Safa technical director Walter Steenbok, who also attended Wednesday’s media breakfast, expressing his displeasure at the perceived lack of urgency from PSL club in complying with the licensing regulations which, among others, demand all coaches to have requisite qualifications.

In a scathing attack, Steenbok made it clear this weekend’s meeting should be more decisive in ensuring compliance, and directly fingered the PSL as the main reason for South African football’s stagnation. “Players are on their own because the (PSL) coaches are not qualified,” Steenbok said, citing Musa Nyatama and Morgan Mammila from Swallows.

Another burning issue is the PSL’s reserve league, the Diski Challenge, which Safa feels should be turned into a development league for teenagers, a recipe for more collision with the PSL. “The DDC (reserves league) doesn’t help us with anything in terms of development,” Steenbok told this week’s media gathering, imploring the Safa congress to take a more hardline stance.

The PSL, meanwhile, said it would seek the intervention of CAF president Patrice Motsepe and “other stakeholders” and convene a board of governors at an unspecified date to deal with its clearly non-existent relations with Safa.

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

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.