Ria Ledwaba, who is one of the candidates for the presidency of the South African Football Association (Safa) has suggested that the country football governing body has been run like a fiefdom by incumbent president Danny Jordaan.
Speaking at a press conference where she also clarified her urgent application for an interdict to stop the June 25 elective conference, she said she wants Safa to be run according to its rules and regulations.
“I am standing here, and I can never be bullied by anyone. And I will not worship any person. I will only worship that document called the statuettes of the South African Football Association,” said Ledwaba to the applause of her supporters including former Bafana Bafana stars Mark Fish and Brian Baloyi.
“Every time I speak, and this is what we will bring, every time someone speaks they must tell us which statutes tell them to do that. If I send a circular it must be guided by the statuettes.”
She also spoke of the lack of funding for Safa’s grassroots level management which she believes has an implication in the lack of proper player development. She believes that before we can have a strong Bafana, we need to create the right structures for players to be developed properly.
She wants legends of the game to be involved especially in schools football and that she wants a women’s wing at Safa to deal with women’s football issues.
“There is no fundings for the 343 Local Football Associations (LFA’s). And things should start being fixed from there. They do not start at Bafana Bafana, but at grassroots level.
“It’s time when resources are spent in appropriate ways. All the LFA’s need to be well-resourced. They must not only rely on the R35 000 grant from the region, which they are lucky to get at times,” she added.
“The grant money from Fifa must be given to LFA’s, and not be used to pay salaries.”
She then called on the full involvement of former players in the game and not to only show face when there are sponsor-related events.
She promised that Safa will be delivered from the throngs of the current leadership whom she believes have steered it in the wrong direction for far too long.
“The South African Football Association shall be set free. That one, I promise.”