/ 14 December 2009

Ticking time bomb in SA soccer

The festive season may be looming and a pyrrhic peace reigns over South African soccer as all and sundry focus attention on working towards the successful hosting of next year’s historic World Cup.

But under the facade of cameraderie, it emerged on Monday, a time bomb is ticking and the explosion is designated to take place with a resounding impact not long after the World Cup Final at Soccer City on July 11.

A truce until the completion of the World Cup, with a concerned Fifa as the insistent peacemakers, has indeed been agreed by the seemingly irreconcilible power blocs in South African soccer led by World Cup Local Organising Committee and PSL chairman Irvin Khoza, and that which includes new Safa president Kirsten Nematandani and has as its nominal leader LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan.

Khoza on Monday confirmed the agreement and the temporary burying of the hatchet over differences that have, as a flashpoint, the disputed recent Safa elections that catapulted Nematandani into the presidency, but are a great deal more deep-rooted and have been festering for years.

I don’t know why Safa have not formally announced the agreement by all parties not to damage the hosting of the World Cup,” said Khoza, ”which means the PSL as a body will not at this juncture pursue any recourse for what it believes to be unconstitutional elements in the Safa elections.

But when asked whether the matter would resurface after the World Cup, the PSL chairman was non-commital.

Let’s just say that all our attention and efforts are now focussed on the World Cup,” he added.

”What happens afterwards is not an issue right now.”

Sources within the PSL, however, have intimated a stock-piling of weaponry is taking place which will be unleashed with a vengeance after the World Cup as retribution for what is claimed were unconstitutional and questionable tactics in securing a new Safa regime following the departure of Molefi Oliphant.

And the Safa ruling body are pursuing their own cold war by bringing attention to the allegations of widespread corruption and bribery in South African soccer under the aegis of the PSL — ironically overlooking the fact that the referees allegedly involved operate under the control of Safa itself. — Sapa