SAFA admits 'challenges' in PSL relations


SAFA acting CEO Tebogo Motlanthe has moved to debunk the perceived ongoing power struggle between the Association and the Premier Soccer League.

SAFA and its special member the NSL have long since been seen as two bulls in one kraal, with the two highest footballing bodies often at odds with one another.

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The latest perceived quarrel is around the resumption date of the 2019/20 PSL season, which the League had requested to start on 18 July but the Association rejected for 1 August.

Motlanthe, however, is adamant these are mere "differences" that require resolution between the two parties and no problems have emanated therefrom.

"I have always said, I don't see the problem. In a democratic environment like this, you'll have differences," Motlanthe told the South African Football Journalists' Association.

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"When I differ with a colleague, or let me take it to a home situation – when I differ with a family member, it does not mean that our relations need to be repaired.

"It's just to deal with the issue at hand and resolve it. I mean, I don't know how much more do we expect. The chairperson [Irvin Khoza] of the National Soccer League, which is a special member, and by virtue of being the chairperson, he is the vice-president of SAFA.

"He attends the meetings of SAFA; the PSL has representation in SAFA meetings. The Joint Liaison Committee, when there was a need for it to sit, it sat and dealt with issues.

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"The fact that there are disagreements here and there, we'll not totally say the relationship has problems, because – let me wear my lawyer cap – a legal relationship is governed by a document, and the constitution is clear on how the PSL and SAFA need to relate.

"We often make mistakes of saying, 'No, there is a problem because the media officer of the League and the media officer of SAFA are not talking the same language, so they don't agree.'

"Those are personal relations, but as far as the documented relation is concerned, one does not see a problem. Of course there are challenges, one of which is the communication protocol put forward by the government that is not being followed. 

"It's a challenge that needs to be addressed, but of course it can't be addressed by the League and SAFA without the involvement of the government, so we will still go back to the table and address issues of disagreement."

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