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Extraordinary Congress gives SAFA the all-clear after failed attempts to hijack the Elective Congress

SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Jun 20, 2022

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Cape Town - The South African Football Association ( Safa) was kept busy extinguishing fires as disgruntled presidential candidates tried to hijack the upcoming Elective Congress.

Over the weekend, the Western Cape High Court dismissed the Kannaland Local Football Association’s interdict to stop the Elective Congress with costs on Friday.

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A few days earlier, the Pretoria High Court dismissed Safa vice-president Ria Ledwaba’s attempt to stop the Elective Congress.

Ledwaba’s interdict was struck off the roll with punitive costs.

Safa also had to deal with a campaign that targeted Danny Jordaan, who will be running for a third term as president. Several social media platforms carried reports that Jordaan had informed the public broadcaster that presidential candidate Ledwaba was withdrawing from the race.

On Saturday, the Safa held its Extraordinary Congress at the Sandton Convention Centre and eased the way for the Elective Congress this Saturday, at the same venue.

The delegates engaged in robust debate and raised matters which were of concern.

However, the meeting ended without hitches.

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Afterwards, Jordaan said there was a lot of engagement as members discussed the items on the agenda.

“The next stop is now the Safa election,” Jordaan said.

“At this Extraordinary Congress, the meeting dealt with all outstanding issues.

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“The spirit in the Extraordinary Congress was very good and the regions are strongly focused, they want to go to that election and exercise their democratic right. We are very happy.

“Democratic debate should be encouraged, and we should engage because we are not all of the same minds.

“So, it was a very good engagement.

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“But in the end, all our decisions were on a unanimous basis.

“It means they all agreed in the end. So that is good for an organisation like Safa, and you can see the satisfaction among the regions.”

Jordaan will be challenged by Ledwaba and Solly Mohlabeng for the Safa presidency.

Afterwards, some of the women at the Congress also voiced their disapproval of attempts to stop the elections.

Among them was the chairperson of the Safa Referee’s Committee Anastasia Tsichlas, and the chairperson of the Women’s Football Committee Emma Hendricks.

Hendricks was unhappy with attempts by presidential candidates who had tried to hijack the elections.

“I think for us it is very hard to support someone who is breaking up our organisation,” said Hendricks.

“We need and plead with the corporate world in these next four years to support us as women so that we can equip ourselves, get ourselves ready for the next election.

“It is hard for us to support someone just because she is a woman, and then she goes out and talks negatively about something we want to grow, something we are building together.

“We do not want such.

“We want someone who has football at heart. I understand, if you are having Safa at heart, why are you breaking Safa?”

Tsichlas said that according to the world football body Fifa, Safa is one of the two fastest-growing countries in women’s football in the world.

“This is a big achievement, so we are happy to continue because of this and many other reasons,” said Tsichlas.

“We are not here to blame anybody for anything because each person has got their own personality. You know, when you go out and rubbish people, you rubbish yourself. You do not do that.

“If you have something to say, you come to the people. We are here to talk about how we are going to progress. We want to progress, we do not want to be left behind and are very happy about it.”

@Herman_Gibbs

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