Johannesburg – Every time the SA Football Association (SAFA) elections come around, so much noise is made that it’s impossible not to notice that the circus is back in town.
An elective congress is an important event for any self-respecting organisation, which is why steps are taken to show everyone how good and efficient the entity is.
However, SAFA’s reputation has progressively deteriorated with every election it holds. Sadly, the interests of a few individuals have overtaken those of billions of fans.
Every time elections draw nearer, reports of death threats start to circulate.
The elective congress scheduled for Saturday is no different.
I’m not sure whether it will take place because it seems there are people who are hell-bent on ensuring it does not see the light of day.
As usual, incumbent president Danny Jordaan is the main target. So much attention has been paid to him that nothing has been said about the business of football.
Business has reportedly come to a standstill in some SAFA regions as officials fight for positions in the regional committees. These positions are highly coveted because they pave the way for a spot in the association’s national executive committee.
If Jordaan is such a corrupt megalomaniac, why is he not behind bars? Would it not be better for him to stand before a judge instead of being vilified and tried in the court of public opinion?
Jordaan’s situation reminds me of what happened to the late Solomon “Stix” Morewa.
During his tenure as president of SAFA, a commission of inquiry was set up to investigate claims of financial mismanagement. When all was said and done, Morewa was forced to resign.
However, the executive committee he worked with got off scot-free and was allowed to stay put.
Surprisingly, the same people who called for the commission to probe Morewa sang his praises when he died.
I can’t think of better examples of crocodile tears and cheap grandstanding.
Jordaan deserves to be treated fairly. If anyone knows of a crime he has committed, they must lay a charge so he can be tried and found guilty or innocent in a court of law. That is far better than casting aspersions.
While all these shenanigans have been going on the game of football, which all those involved in this mess claim to love, continues to suffer.
I have noticed another disturbing trend. While Jordaan’s critics have been given plenty of opportunities to have their say, the SAFA president’s voice has hardly been heard.
It seems the journalists who wrote articles and conducted interviews about the matter have forgotten to get his side of the story.
With a week to go before the elections, we have no idea what Jordaan stands for. We do not even know if he has a manifesto.
Former presidential hopeful Ace Ncobo was supposed to present his manifesto at a press conference this week. The manifesto was scheduled to be delivered before he and Jordaan called a truce engineered by Council of Southern Africa Football Associations president Philip Chiyangwa.
Ncobo attacked Jordaan’s person and used the word rape in an “intended pun”.
That was a low blow from a man many of us regarded as a referee who ensured fair play on the football field and always executed his duties diligently.
Some claim Jordaan is a power monger who is holding on to his position for dear life. This narrative completely ignores the fact that he has only served one term.
Everything should be done to benefit football and not a handful of individuals. Should the elective congress go ahead, delegates from legitimate football structures must elect a leader who will take the game to the next level.
Our football-loving children and grandchildren deserve to play under conditions that allow them to reach for the stars without being hindered by petty politics.