FIFA and CAF convene a series of meetings from Monday to Friday in Zurich.

FIFA and CAF convene a series of meetings from Monday to Friday in Zurich. Both the President and CEO of SAFA were scheduled to leave on Sunday night, 24 May 2015 to attend the CAF Executive and other meetings which include the FIFA Congress that took place last Friday, 29 May 2015.

However, both the President and CEO were engaged in sponsorship contract negotiations which delayed their departure. These negotiations were concluded on Wednesday, 27 May 2015.

Furthermore, the SAFA President then travelled to Port Elizabeth to be inducted as the new Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor on Thursday, 28 May 2015.

Both in the media and among the public, the question of a part-time Mayor was raised in the view of the public knowledge that the Mayor was supposed to travel to Zurich soon after his installation.

Family members and local politicians in Nelson Mandela Bay metro raised the question of the Zurich meeting and more so after he (new Mayor) had just removed R200 million from the budget of the Metro Council earmarked for international travel.

“After intensive discussion with local politicians and family, I was convinced that it was correct not to travel to Zurich. South Africa as most democracies has a rights-based culture where the protection of rights of individuals is sacrosanct as well as the principle of a person presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, I had already missed four out of five meetings and engagements scheduled for that week and therefore travelling to Zurich made little sense.”

Malicious and slanderous comments about legal steps against the President of SAFA must be rejected with the contempt it deserves.

“I make no apology for responding to the voices of the people of Nelson Mandela Metro. An inauguration is a once off event; FIFA and CAF meetings occur regularly throughout the year. It is therefore a simple common sense decision,” said SAFA President.