We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Lesufi confident Safa, Banyana will make up

Premier says negotiations should not have been left to the last minute

Neville Khoza Journalist
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and SAFA President Danny Jordaan.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and SAFA President Danny Jordaan.
Image: Antonio Muchave

Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi has offered a word of advice to Safa not to leave things until the last minute.

Lesufi chaired a press conference at Tsakane stadium on Sunday to resolve the impasse in stalled negotiations on a contract dispute that saw Banyana Banyana players barred from playing their World Cup send-off match against Botswana.

With Banyana having qualified for the World Cup early, Lesufi feels Safa should have done better by negotiating contracts with the players rather than waiting until the last week before they leave for Australia and New Zealand for the tournament.

“If we qualify early, then we must plan for things. That’s the lesson I think everyone has agreed on. We knew when we qualified. We should have had a proper plan,” Lesufi said.

“You can’t blame Safa because they are also going through their own organisational matters. But don’t leave things to the last minute, that’s what I can say.”

While the negotiations of incentives are set to continue, Lesufi said he was open to assist if he was needed but warned of the danger of interference from the government.

“It’s up to them if they still want me to continue I will, but you know Fifa and the government, so I don’t want to enter that space,” he said. “I’m mediating here [press conference] because potential violence was about to take place. We stopped it, going forward people will deal with their issues.

“The teams are going to go into contract negotiations as from tomorrow [yesterday] and the contracts entail those figures, so all the parties that wanted to deposit their ideas they’ve done that already on Saturday.

“As soon as they conclude that aspect then we will know.

“We are just meditating on the crisis here. The future relationship of union recognition and other things is not something that we can guess, but for now, all parties have agreed to have a process, and we are handing over that process to them and I’m very hopeful that they will find each other.

“So, this just created the spark and now that everyone has tabled their issues, I’m quite convinced that we will have a final resolution.”

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.