With only a week before the planned Football Indaba takes place, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa has admitted that the Indaba won’t be the same without the presence of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and its members.
During his department’s budget vote speech in July, Mthethwa said they want to host this Indaba to try and get to the bottom of why South African football is not achieving at the international level.
SAFA responded by saying it’s only them as the football mother body in the country who can organise a national Football Indaba.
Speaking during the return of the victorious Springboks from the Rugby World Cup, Mthethwa says even if SAFA has to run the Indaba it must happen.
The national Football Indaba is scheduled from the 15th until the 17th of this month, the day Bafana Bafana hosts Sudan in an African Cup of Nations qualifier at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
SAFA reportedly threatened all its members not to attend and this has left Mthethwa very concerned.
SAFA claims that they had made a presentation to Mthethwa and his team and they had promised that they will revert to them as soon as they return from the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The football mother body has stopped short of saying this is government interference in football, something which is prohibited by FIFA.
But according to newly appointed SAFA Acting CEO Gay Mokoena, it doesn’t look like they are ready to go ahead with this Indaba for now.
The programme for this planned Indaba has not been released yet but invites have been going out to some of the delegates.
SABC Sport understands that government is inviting all the stakeholders in the game, including those who might have been involved with SAFA in the past, something that’s not going down well with the footballing mother body. Mthethwa says they are going ahead with the Indaba. – Report by Velile Mnyandu