Legal battle brewing between SAFA and SAFOCA

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The South African Football Clubs Association (SAFOCA) says it is compelled to take legal action to force the football mother body, SAFA,  to pay prizes and allowances to all the clubs that play in the ABC Motsepe League.

The 144 second division clubs have not yet received their R30 000 allowances and prizes for four years in a row, despite the league being sponsored. The clubs have also not yet received other benefits, including allowances for the payment of match officials and the buying of soccer kits.

SAFOCA president Lucas Molefe says they want the court to force the payments urgently.

“Non-payment of clubs, we are talking about 144 clubs. one has been forced to be excluded from the league is Tornado FC from Eastern Cape because they been running the league and winning league for three seasons in a row.  But the intention is to make a petition of all clubs but the issue of the petition is a process as well. The court will be the easiest way, it is costly but we will engage with our members,” he says.

A general manager of ABC Motsepe side in Limpopo, Dolphins FC, says they won the provincial league twice in succession but have not yet received their prize money.

“There’s nothing that we are getting from our sponsor they don’t provide us with those jerseys. We are buying our own jerseys we have never receive any prize for winning the league, is too much,” says Erick Lehong.

Meanwhile, a soccer player at one of the ABC Motsepe League sides, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says they were expecting a good financial boost when the sponsorship was announced.

“I always heard that it was tough back then when it was still called Vodacom before it was sponsored by Motsepe. I believe even the chairman of the teams believed that things are going to be better. Things are not as expected, so it becomes a challenge.”

Some chairpersons of the ABC Motsepe clubs have written a letter to the Sports Minister, requesting the appointment of a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged maladministration within SAFA.

Attempts to get a comment from SAFA were unsuccessful at the time of publishing.