SAFA Leadership Upbeat About Preparations For The 2010 FIFA World Cup
30 March 2010

The Association hereby confirms its position that, contrary to media reports, the South African Football Association (SAFA) is fully focused on delivering the most successful FIFA World Cup ever.

The Association has just appointed new Members to the Organising Committee Board of Directors as a clear indication of its joint commitment with government, the labour movement and the private sector to strengthen our efforts to achieve our objectives.

We express our concern about the news articles of the weekend for the following reasons:

1. Both SAFA and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee leadership gave an unequivocal undertaking to the President of FIFA in Zurich, during the introduction of the new leadership of SAFA to FIFA, that the successful delivery of the FIFA World Cup will be the commitment of the entire leadership
2. This promise was repeated to government
3. The SAFA leadership agreed on the basis of these undertakings not to make any changes to the governance structure of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee
4. These positions were repeated to the media on numerous occasions.

We were approached by members of the media with information about the attempt to remove the elected leadership before the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June 2010.

According to these media reports, this is to be achieved through destabilising the Regions, the Administration and the national teams of SAFA. We are disappointed by these allegations.

We have noted reports from our Regions of various attempts to remove supporters of the new leadership.

We have consequently decided to:

(i) Note these reports
(ii) Collect further information and evidence which may implicate any person
(iii) Charge the person(s) responsible
(iv) Protect the integrity of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

We note our concern regarding the inflammatory public comments by the purported spokesperson for Dr Khoza, speaking on behalf of Dr Khoza on this matter. We express our satisfaction that Dr Khoza has acknowledged that the individual concerned was expressing his personal views on this matter and we call upon him to stop misleading the public on this matter and that Dr Khoza will address the matter with the individual concerned.

Notwithstanding these media reports, we reaffirm our commitment to the development of grassroots football as we have been mandated to do by our Members. We therefore call upon all SAFA Members to continue to maintain unity in our structures and we pledge our continued commitment to bringing the entire football family in South Africa together for the sake of the child.

We note Dr Khoza’s comment in his media statement of this morning regarding the letter from the Premier Soccer League about the elections of 2009. We acknowledge that we had closed the matter on the basis of a meeting with the President of FIFA whereby all parties, inclusive of Dr Khoza, promised the FIFA President of their commitment to work with the present elected leadership of SAFA.

The National Executive Committee was given a clear mandate on 26 September 2009 to run this Association. However, in view of Dr Khoza’s reference to the above letter in his statement of this morning, we shall place this letter in front of the SAFA National Executive Committee at its next meeting for further discussion and decision.

We hereby reiterate our firm belief that there are no disagreements regarding the delivery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and we acknowledge and appreciate Dr Khoza’s statement this morning indicating that these are merely perceived differences.

We also note that we have initiated communication with government and FIFA with a view to assuring our key partners of our abiding commitment to a successful FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

After consultation with the full National Executive Committee, we hereby instruct all Members of the South African football family to desist from any direct communication, in line with our standard communication protocols, with FIFA or the South African government relating to the matters at hand since the Association will convene any such meetings with government, FIFA and institutions of civil society in this regard.

We also state herewith our firm position that any talk about the FIFA and CAF elections is premature and this matter shall only be addressed by this Association at the appropriate time.

The Association will not hesitate to take decisive action against anyone found to have violated these directives. The leadership of SAFA remains firmly committed to deliver on its mandate as received on 26 September 2009 which includes transforming South African football for the benefit of all as well the successful delivery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

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