Premium Journalist
2 minute read
8 Feb 2019
4:12 pm

Safa lashes out, calling media ‘puppets’


The SA Football Association (Safa) have released a strongly-worded statement calling into question the integrity of media houses who assist in giving traction to 'unsubstantiated claims’.

Danny Jordaan, SAFA president. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Safa claim the issue has been persisting for the past decade, with disgruntled individuals manipulating the media to try and disrupt elections and push other agendas.

“Safa, with the support of its structures will pursue the strongest legal action against individuals who continue to attempt to create confusion and undermine Safa’s democratic mandate,” read part of a statement released on Friday.

“This pattern has been established since the 2009 elections, and has remained in place until now. This is evidenced by the recent unfounded claims made by Leslie Sedibe with an unsigned affidavit at the time of publishing the report, an astounding lapse of judgement by the media, who published the article.”

The statement went on to give various examples of destabilisation attempts during the 2009, 2013 and 2018 elections.

Sedibe, a former Safa CEO, was in 2016 banned by Fifa for five years for alleged match-fixing relating to three international friendlies in the run-up to the 2010 World Cup.

Last month, Sedibe made headlines again when he claimed that 2010 World Cup bid boss and current Safa president Danny Jordaan engaged in a meeting with Ajay Gupta and former President Jacob Zuma to try and secure money.

He also laid charges, asking authorities to investigate Jordaan’s role in, and the legitimacy of a $10m (R136m) payment to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf).

In Friday’s statement from Safa, Sedibe was the only individual to be specifically named.

“The spurious Leslie Sedibe case must be understood,” the statement continued, “noting too the following cases that were opened against Safa:

• The Fli-Afrika claim of R18 million

• South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) v Safa

• National Soccer League v Safa in the OUTSurance Case

Leslie Sedibe v Safa Defamation claim of R5 million

“In the case of Leslie Sedibe, Safa has referred the matter to our legal counsel, as to how we should be deal with, in order to protect the integrity of the Association and its leadership.

“It is therefore incumbent upon people/ members entrenched in the legitimate, democratic structures of Safa, to be vigilant against the efforts of those trying to destabilise football and its programs and we must all therefore unite to protect the democratic process and structures of football in this country.”

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