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Johannesburg – I was wondering where the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) was this week as news broke about the match fixing scandal that has engulfed the highest echelons of the South African Football Association.
It was a sickening story to read given that cricket has had and continues to be mired by tales of matches being fixed.
But the reason I missed Sascoc’s involvement in the Safa affair is not because I expect them to get involved – it would be great if they would – but rather to see if they would make as big a brouhaha over football match-fixing and why so many high ranking Safa officials were apparently involved, as they have over the administrative shake-up that is still taking place at Cricket SA.
Sascoc have had a lot to say about CSA’s new administration, in fact, so much that the cricket body has had to postpone its AGM by several months as it tries to tiptoe around Sascoc’s demands about the make-up of the administration.
Sadly for Cricket SA they’ve become a political football in a bigger fight between Sascoc and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. It is Mbalula who instituted the Nicholson Inquiry which exposed Gerald Majola’s misdeeds. Sascoc had tread very lightly around Majola when allegations of impropriety first surfaced about him in 2009.
Among Nicholson’s recommendations was for a strong independent quota on CSA’s new board of directors, something Sascoc are vehemently opposed to. While CSA has been keen to follow with a strong independent quota they veered slightly from the judge’s recommendations instead seeking a 50/50 split between independent board members and provincial union presidents.
However even that compromise didn’t satisfy Sascoc, who continue to make incomprehensible remarks like: “Sports should be run by sports people.” Essentially Sascoc want a far smaller quota of independents – 30percent or less – on the new board of directors. Why they’re so scared of wider independent input has never been clear. The only reason I can think of, is that they are bloody scared that a stronger more independent board of directors for CSA may actually improve that sport’s administration.
And then what for Sascoc? It is an organisation that has to go with a begging bowl to government to help fund athletes. Controversy shrouds the election of their administrators and there is little sign of an independent quota on their board. Sascoc find it convenient to raise a stink when they want to protect their own backsides, doing what’s right for South African sport seems to be very low on their agenda. – The Star