Nxesi says warring schools soccer bodies have begun to work together

19 January 2018 - 14:26 By Marc Strydom
Safa‚ with government backing‚ stated its unhappiness at how few schools play football‚ resolving to bring the running of soccer at that level under their own auspices.
Safa‚ with government backing‚ stated its unhappiness at how few schools play football‚ resolving to bring the running of soccer at that level under their own auspices.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The warring South African Football Association (Safa) and SA Schools Football Association (Sasfa) have told Sports Minister Thembelani “Thulas” Nxesi that they have begun to work together‚ the minister has said.

Nxesi said that the report-backs he has had from both bodies are that they have begun to put aside their long-standing feud that has crippled the advancement of schools’ football in South Africa‚ hamstringing perhaps the most crucial aspect of development of the sport.

“The latest reports they have given me is that they are starting to work together now. They have put joint teams. And they are starting to put a programme together‚” Nxesi said this week.

“Which is good now‚ once they start working together and under one body. We can’t afford to divide soccer in this country.

“They (Safa and Sasfa) have told me in their report they have given me that both sides (are working together). But we still have to sit and finalise the programme.”

Sasfa and the national body have been at loggerheads since Safa’s decision in March 2015 to dissolve the schools body as an associate member.

Safa‚ with government backing‚ stated its unhappiness at how few schools play football‚ resolving to bring the running of soccer at that level under their own auspices.

That resolution was overturned in arbitration‚ which Safa took on appeal to the High Court and won in August last year. However the standoff has continued.

Nxesi said that the Department of Sport and Recreation’s biggest goal in 2018 is to revive schools sport.

“I indicated when I joined the department last year that I found an intact department in terms of the administration and management‚” the minister said.

“Clear audits for four years. We are expecting another clear audit (this year).

“But my issue now is how do we ensure that we develop on development.

“And I’m saying development that will go to the countryside and to townships and rural areas. And that we ensure that each and every village‚ suburb and township is abuzz with sporting activities.

“But also‚ how do we partner with basic education to ensure that.”

subscribe