Cosafa President Philip Chiyangwa is bad news for South African football: The Sowetan

Phillip Chiyangwa, Cosafa president during the 2016 Cosafa annual general meeting at Sun City, Rustenburg. Photo: BackpagePix

By The Sowetan

For the past few weeks, the spotlight has been cast on the disputed South African Football Association (Safa) elective conference.

It has been tiring to report on the ongoing battle between former Fifa referee Ace Ncobo and incumbent Safa president Danny Jordaan over the ill-fated elections that fortunately have been halted, a move that translates to local soccer governing body admitting that they have violated their own statutes and electoral code.

We applaud Ncobo for taking the association head on, otherwise Safa would have proceeded with the elections had no one questioned the credibility or the legitimacy thereof.

It was inevitable that the Ncobo-Safa wars would escalate into a name-calling game as the so-called truce between the warring factions left so many questions unanswered at an impromptu press conference last week.

Who invited this guy to a Safa dispute, given his shallow responses?

What we don’t understand is how Cosafa president Philip Chiyangwa was nominated in the first place as the mediator in the dispute, knowing very well of his well-documented association with the president of Safa.

The two were part of the team that plotted the removal of CAF (Confederation of African Football) president Issa Hayatou at the last elections, with Chiyangwa the playmaker.

We are disappointed that Chiyangwa is not helping matters in the Ncobo-Safa impasse.

His response this week was shallow when we asked him about the actual terms and conditions of the agreement that was reached between the warring parties.

“Safa can handle their turf very well,” he told this newspaper before he referred us back to the association.

Ncobo must be called to order too. While he deservedly succeeded in halting the Safa polls, it is about time that he sounds like a leader he portrays to be.

Name-calling is not the way to go, especially coming from a man who was widely respected for enforcing fair play and discipline among athletes in the field of play during his time as a referee.

It is so uncharacteristic of Ncobo to use words like “rape” in flagging the leaders who violate the constitution, otherwise he too will end up being painted with the same brush as those he’s trying to expose. – This editorial comment was published by The Sowetan newspaper.


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