Safa CEO Motlanthe: 'I must emphasise and put on record that the meeting did not take place'

SAFA acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe.
SAFA acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe.
Image: SAFA

South African Football Association (Safa) acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe says a meeting between the association and Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) compliance officers that was a stumbling to a return to football has still not taken place.

Motlanthe further said that mother body Safa is willing to approve the return to play even if the meeting between the PSL’s Michael Murphy and Safa’s Dr Thulani Ngwenya and Mlungisi Ncame does not take place‚ if liability for anything going wrong is then taken on by the league and government.

Motlanthe told SowetanLIVE last week that it is not just the issue of the association’s referees only being ready on August 1 that make that Safa’s chosen date for a restart of the PSL behind closed doors in a Gauteng bio-save environment (BSE).

He said that the meeting has still to take place between the compliance officers‚ viewed as crucial by Safa as gazetted regulations state the association is liable for any lack of compliance in the BSE plan.

“I must emphasise and put on record that the meeting did not take place‚” Motlanthe told an online press conference of the SA Football Journalists Association (Safja).

“But given what the league has been saying continuously that they have submitted everything to government ... .

“I had a discussion with [sports ministry] director-general [Vusumusi ] Mkhize to say that we are at a stage where if indeed he has the information let him and share it with our compliance officer because the letter of July 5 from the minister [Nathi Mthethwa] put a responsibility on the association.

“We are at a stage where we are saying‚ look‚ it’s either we get that information before August 1 and we OK it‚ and write a report. Or if we don’t get that information‚ I’d put a second option to the minister to then say‚ ‘OK‚ take that responsibility from us and exonerate us from any liabilities that will emanate from people not following what we have agreed at the JLC as health protocol.

“Because you see‚ as it is widely reported we look as if we are the stumbling block. But we are making the return as easy as we can.

“That’s why we are saying‚ ‘If you remove the responsibility from us we are happy that the league and government takes responsibility’.

“Because the league says‚ ‘We have the letter from the government’. And it has been reported on many media platforms that they are saying they have submitted to government‚ which is not in line with the agreed communication protocol‚ which was also established by the government.”

Motlanthe last week said PSL compliance officer Murphy had not been available yet for the meeting with Ngwenya and Ncame.

The PSL will hold a Board of Governors meeting where the feasibility of the August 1 kickoff – the PSL had hoped for July 18 – and perhaps even potential cancellation of the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship‚ will be discussed.

The PSL suspended its matches due to Covid-19 on March 16.