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Safa's bombshell!

SAFA is threatening to withdraw its membership from the South African Sports Confederation & Olympic Committee (Sascoc) .

A Sascoc media statement released this week lifted the lid on a bubbling cauldron of animosity between the two bodies, and Safa officials say they have had enough.

The offending statement said Sascoc would ''appoint a three-person team from its finance committee to meet with Safa regarding its current financial position and turnaround strategy and milestones". It also demanded that Safa present to its board a six-monthly progress report for the next 24 months.

Incensed Safa executive committee members said yesterday that they had begun discussions with world football body Fifa and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as they prepare for the withdrawal from Sascoc.

Fifa does not tolerate government interference in the running of football matters and Safa officials are confident that the Zurich-based organisation will be on their side.

A terse document seen by the Sunday World spells out Safa's intention to take the fight to Sascoc.

The full document has also been sent to Fifa general secretary Jérôme Valcke, CAF secretary general Hicham el Amrani and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

The Safa executive recommended in the document that it should renounce its membership of Sascoc with immediate effect, refuse any further co-operation with Sascoc and launch a defamation lawsuit against Sascoc and its officers.

A senior Safa executive member said yesterday that they were prepared to face the consequences of withdrawing from Sascoc.

''This is clearly government interference and we know that Fifa is not going to tolerate it. 'The worst that can happen is that Sascoc may, and this is a big may, prevent us from going to the Rio Olympics in 2016."

Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy said yesterday he was not aware of any tension between the two bodies and Sascoc was simply doing its duty by asking for the Safa financials.

He added that Safa reported a loss of R47-million last year and Sascoc was obliged to assess the situation.

"If there are millions of rands in losses, something has to be done to make sure there is a turnaround. You cannot continue to trade when you have a loss."

Reddy said he did not know what the repercussions would be should Safa withdraw its membership.

"As far as Sascoc is concerned, we cannot force anyone to be a member and Safa will have to exercise their right."

The Safa document claims that Sascoc has been trying to discredit the football association. But Reddy denied this.

The document said it was puzzling that Sascoc has repeatedly insisted on investigating Safa's finances when Fifa has said many times that it was satisfied that all its money was accounted for.

Sascoc is understood to have handed over an anonymously written dossier containing a litany of allegations about Safa to the Hawks last year.

Valcke told Sunday World last year that Fifa would view any investigation of Safa's internal affairs by either the government or Sascoc as interference.