Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The final solution for SAFA: get rid of the fixers and put Danny Jordaan in charge

Last night on eNCAnews I outlined my "final solution" for the troubled South African Football Association.

In the wake of the official KPMG report which shows SAFA made a loss of R54.5m last year, it's clear something has to be done.

Just three years after hosting a successful World Cup and months after a record-breaking African Cup of Nations, SAFA now has R2.9m in the bank but faces a salary bill of R17.1m.

Somehow, SAFA spent R27.5m last year and with major sponsors ABSA and Castle cutting their investment and reports of Bafana kit sponsors Nike also heading for the hills, the nation's football body is clearly on the brink of disaster.

With Gordon Igesund's Bafana Bafana turning around their qualifying campaign before the World Cup in Brazil next year, we could even face a situation where the national team can't be paid - I know payments were late after the friendly against Malawi before (and during) AFCON.

Ironically, it is the second big scandal surrounding SAFA - the FIFA report outlining match-fixing in four pre-World Cup friendlies in 2010 - which could just be the answer.

With power-hungry SASCOC and over-enthusiastic Sports Minister Filile Mbalula seeking to put their own people in charge, we have to hope that the judicial inquiry in to "match manipulation" will indeed bring down the men responsible for selling out to the infamous Wilson Raj Perumal.

Then, come the SAFA elections in September, we should be able to assume the corrupt element in SAFA has been largely dealt with. These are the guys who spent the R112m World Cup surplus on a fleet of Mercedes Benzes. The ones trying to bribe the 52 SAFA regions for votes.  The guys who stop at nothing to keep control of our game and its finances.

One man, in my opinion, stands head-and-shoulders clear of this mess. Currently a vice-president at SAFA, Danny Jordaan has long been the ANC's go-to man in sporting affairs. He was once called to the government in exile in Lusaka and asked how football was shaping up before democracy.

Long before current SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani or PSL chairman Irvin Khoza came to footballing prominence, Jordaan was involved in the sports boycott under Apartheid, he was harassed by the old security police, chased from Port Elizabeth to Kimberley and, once the elections came in 1994, he led the Cape Town Olympic bid and eased the sporting return "to normality".

He gave up his seat in parliament to sort out sporting South Africa. He also organised - with huge success - Africa's first World Cup in 2010.

Jordaan - with six other trustees including FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke - is the man currently ensuring the REAL Fifa World Cup legacy fund's half-a-billion rands (as documented by me on eNCAnews last night) - is used ONLY for development, not to fill the coffers of the corrupt.

If Jordaan takes over SAFA as President in September, having been ruthlessly by-passed in 2009 for the position, there is hope for South African football.

But if the judicial inquiry fails and the current jostling for SAFA President continues, I fear the worst.

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