Can Irvin Khoza be an impartial PSL chairman?
Posted: 6 November 2012 Time: 10:08
In the wake of his nomination for Sascoc President, Dr Irvin Khoza's decision to seek another term as PSL chairman is seen by many in the football world as a mistake.
Khoza was recently revealed to be the only candidate nominated for the position of PSL chairman. The elections that will be held in Johannesburg on November 8.
"I will submit my report and the [PSL executive committtee] members will decide what is in their interests," he told Business Day in September. "It is important to acknowledge that a lot of work has been achieved. This executive really served the interest of its members beyond expectations."
Questions have always been raised as to whether Khoza's multiple responsibilities as PSL chairman, Orlando Pirates chairman and Safa vice president are too much for one person to handle.
However, revelations by the that SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) that Khoza will be the sole challenger to Gideon Sam for the position of president at the Committee's elections in December has cast doubt on his ability to juggle all four responsibilities at once.
Nobody doubts the capabilities of the 'Iron Duke' as one of the country's top football administrators.
As chairman of the PSL, Khoza played a key role in securing its current sponsors Absa Group Limited.
He has also been at the forefront of the transformation of the PSL brand into a profitable, well-run organisation; a League that is not very far off from the top football leagues in the world.
It was under Khoza's leadership, as chairman of the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee, that South Africa delivered a successful tournament, described by Fifa president Sepp Blatter, in fact, as: "… the greatest World Cup ever."
But the Iron Duke's football acumen and insight have been even more apparent at Orlando Pirates, where under his leadership – which intensified, by his own admission, after the World Cup – the club has managed to win an unprecedented six domestic titles in two consecutive seasons.
A number of local officials, however, feel that Khoza may not be able to discharge his duties as PSL chairman objectively as long as he is also the chairman of Orlando Pirates.
This, they say, creates a conflict of interest.
Which is why there is a feeling within local football circles that perhaps it is time for the Iron Duke to make way for new blood in the PSL's top echelons of power.
While such a principled decision would undoubtedly preserve Khoza's legacy as one of the most pre-eminent football administrators ever to be produced by the country, such suggestions are not openly made to the Iron Duke.
KickOff.com spoke to a number of administers, coaches and officials, but none were willing to go on record as being against Khoza's re-election as PSL chairman.
As one prominent football supporter put it: "While many people feel Khoza cannot be completely impartial as PSL chairman while he is also the owner of Orlando Pirates, this is a very sensitive matter. I would never mention this in the open."
PSL communications head Connie Motshumi says the constitution of the football body does not prevent any official from continually seeking re-election.
"There is no conflict of interest if a PSL official is also a chairman of a football club because the officials are bound by the constitution of the PSL," Motshumi tells KickOff.com.
"In fact, individuals occupying PSL positions do so by virtue of being involved in running football at their respective clubs. So there is no conflict of interest," she adds.