/ 28 September 2009

New Safa boss not worried about court challenge

Newly elected president of the SA Football Association (Safa) Kirsten Nematandani said on Monday he was not concerned over speculation that his position could be challenged in court.

Nematandani was the surprise winner of the Safa elections at the annual general meeting held in Kempton Park on Saturday.

The new president was elected unopposed after the two main candidates, Danny Jordaan, who heads the Football Transformation Forum of which Nematandani is a member, and Irvin Khoza withdrew from the leadership battle.

Jordaan withdrew in favour of Limpopo based Nematandani. This was after the Premier Soccer League — of which Khoza is the chairperson — claimed that as a paid official of Safa, Jordaan was not eligible to stand as a candidate for the Safa presidency.

Speaking on SABC radio on Monday morning, Nematandani said he was not aware of any legal action from Khoza or his supporters after their defeat.

Said Nematandani: ”All I know is what I have read in the newspaper headlines this morning. Safa have a legal department that would handle this sort of matter if it goes to court.”

Nematandani said that should his position be challenged in court he was not concerned. He said; ”I feel comfortable with our court system.”

Nematandani stressed that his priority would be to united the factions within Safa.

”We are all members of the same organisation and work for the good of soccer and Safa.”

He said he would be meeting President Jacob Zuma, Minister of Sport Makhenkesi Stofile and Sepp Blatter, the president Fifa shortly to outline his plans and the way forward for soccer in this country.

The Young Communist League of South Africa applauded the appointment of Nematandani and the withdrawal from the contest of Khoza and Jordaan.

”We believe that the politics that dominated their contest [albeit democratic] was likely to affect our smooth preparations for the World Cup.”

The league urged Nematandani to ”move beyond the divisive politics in football and concentrate on ensuring that our soccer team delivers the prestigious Fifa World Cup next year”. – Sapa