Safa threatens bans over letter demanding that Motsepe League be run by the PSL

02 May 2020 - 09:25 By Marc Strydom
Safa president Danny Jordaan.
Safa president Danny Jordaan.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

The South African Football Association (Safa) has threatened bans from soccer for the authors of a letter demanding that the amateur ABC Motsepe League be administered by the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

Safa responded that damning allegations made in an unsigned document purportedly authored by some lower league clubs‚ claiming Motsepe (third-tier) and SAB (fourth-tier) League teams have not been paid travel allowances and prizemoney are as a result of “cash flow problems”‚ and are being addressed.

Safa communications manager Dominic Chimhavi said those cash flow issues are related to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the association financially.

Chimhavi called the authors of the unsigned letter an “illegal structure”.

“The authors of the document are an illegal structure and we have identified them. Safa has sent their names to Fifa‚ and we will have further investigations and drastic action will be taken against these individuals running a campaign to destabilise Safa‚” Chimhavi said.

“Safa will be charging them and if guilty they will face a ban from football.”

The letter‚ which TimesLIVE has a copy of‚ is addressed to Minister of Sports Nathi Mthethwa‚ Safa president Danny Jordaan and other Safa leadership figures. It asks for a ministerial commission of inquiry into allegations of Safa’s “poor administration of the ABC Motsepe League and SAB League”.

The letter alleges that some Motsepe League teams have not been paid travel allowances for “three seasons‚ if not more”‚ that SAB League teams “have not received prizemoney for seasons”‚ and that lower league referees have not received payments of travel allowances.

It alleges Safa undertook to provide two new kits each season‚ and this only happened once.

It questions whether the sponsors‚ the Motsepe Foundation and South African Breweries (SAB)‚ have honoured their financial commitments.

The authors state: “The teams therefore demand the formation of a National Second Division League‚ divided into two streams under the management of the National Soccer League [the PSL is the NSL’s trading name] with effect from the 2020-21 season.”

Chimhavi said Safa have been addressing the problems of unpaid Motsepe and SAB League teams.

“Safa has had well-documented cash flow problems. But all those issues that they articulated [in the letter]‚ we are busy attending to them. The CFO [Safa chief financial officer Gronie Hluyo] has got some funds and has paid quite a few teams‚ and is in the process of paying the others.

“On them wanting to be administered by the PSL – the PSL is the professional wing and the job of the FA across the world is to look after amateur football.”

Chimhavi denied that travel allowances to some teams have not been paid for three seasons.

“That is not true. Only clubs who are not compliant in dispersing funds were not paid‚” he said.

Chimhavi said it was only this year that other payments have not been made. He said this is linked to the coronavirus pandemic and shutdown of football.

“The coronavirus has really had an adverse effect on football‚ and on Safa in particular‚” he said.

“Last week the Safa management voluntarily took a pay cut. It’s for cash flow reasons.”

Chimhavi could not comment on whether an offshoot of the coronavirus has been some of Safa’s sponsors and broadcast partners being unable to meet financial commitments.

Refilwe Masemola‚ a communications director at SAB‚ said the company “can confirm that SAB did honour its commitment in this regard”.

A representative of the Motsepe Foundation was contacted but did not respond.