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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

I wanted Lucas Radebe as running mate – Nonkonyana

Former Safa vice president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana has revealed that he would integrate more youthful leaders, including former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas 'Rhoo' Radebe in the organisation’s structures if he were to be elected president in the upcoming elections set for March 24.

Nonkonyana said among a bevy of things he mentioned in his manifesto, he said he wants more youth in the structures so they be groomed and prepared to take over in the future.

“I said in my manifesto that I am there, and I want young guys who will come, for instance I was touting Lucas Radebe as one of my running mates. Besides him there are youthful leaders, including women, in local structures who have been supressed for quite a while and we had targeted them. I think that is key for the development of football,” said Nonkonyana on Thursday.

Nonkonyana also revealed that he might consider not running for the presidency anymore after an online poll run by the National Football Consultative Forum (NFCF) revealed Tokyo Sexwale as the public’s preferred candidate.

“Clearly anyone who doesn’t see that we have challenges may as well be blind. There is a call for change and that call must be heeded by all football leaders in the country,” he said.

He also accused some of his former colleagues he was working with in the Football Transformation Forum of neglecting the forum’s principles once they got into power.

“The FTF that I formed to transform football has now been changed to be a cabal to divide football. And that is fundamentally wrong. Some of my colleagues forgot the principles when we got elected to lead Safa and thought it was just a ticket for them to get a seat,” he said.

He said the country’s football has not progressed in the past seven years since hosting the Fifa World Cup in 2010 despite the promise that was there.

“We are proud of the 2010 achievements. But we have gone down since then. Look at the US, they have grown in leaps and bounds since then and are now one of the powerhouses in world football. We could not qualify for anything since then. And we were humiliated on home soil during the 2014 Chan competition. Clearly change needs to happen.”

Read more on Nonkonyana and the NFCF in Phakaaathi Plus inside The Citizen newspaper on Friday.

Lucas Radebe (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Lucas Radebe (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

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