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ABC Motsepe clubs threaten to boycott season over grants

By Jerry Barnes

Earlier this week, it was reported that the clubs were threatening to boycott the season kick-off because of the outstanding amounts.

Soccer ball. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Safa’s national and provincial offices are under pressure to honour and pay outstanding annual grants to all ABC Motsepe League teams.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the clubs were threatening to boycott the season kick-off because of the outstanding amounts.

SABC Sport also claimed that more than four provinces have forwarded their grievances to the Safa national head office, demanding the outstanding monies be paid before they honour fixtures for the new season.

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Safa uMgungundlovu regional executive Officer Makhetha Mzimela on Thursday told The Witness that their preparations locally were going ahead, adding that they were hearing about this matter for the first time.

No, we are not aware of any boycott or any misunderstanding between Safa and ABC Motsepe League clubs.

“Our preparations are currently going smooth and our teams already took part in the off-season tournament. Also, nothing like that was raised or a concern, and I am hearing about this for the first time,” said Mzimela.

However two local clubs currently campaigning in the ABC Motsepe League — Midlands Wanderers FC and Mkhambathini United — confirmed the matter to The Witness, but indicated that Safa have promised to sort out the matter “very soon”.

“Yesterday we attended a meeting at the provincial level and this matter was heavily discussed. We also hope that it will be smoothly sorted out because last night I personally received a call from Safa offices asking for banking details,” said Mtu Mlaba of Mhkhambathini United.

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Midlands Wanderers FC’s Vincent “Masenti” Myeni denied any knowledge about boycotting the start of the new season, but agreed that Safa were paying attention to the matter. “I am aware that Safa was making arrangements with the teams about the annual grants payments,” said Myeni.

Bush Bucks chairperson Sturu Pasiya had more details on the grievances coming from ABC Motsepe League clubs, specifically from the Eastern Cape.

“Clubs in the Eastern Cape have met and they have raised serious issues and [grievances] on the non-payment of grants by Safa, which has been going on — if my memory serves me well — for the past four or five years,” explained Pasiya.

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“We’ve not received a cent, and remember we pay referees as clubs and we pay for travel, for which we are supposed to be refunded by the association. We also pay a subscription fee of R10 000 per club every season, we do not know where that money goes and what it does.”

Safa vice-president Linda Zwane was quick to admit their challenges in the league and said they are looking forward to kick-off the new season next month, once all the challenges have been addressed.

I think we have to accept that there are challenges there, and the office is working tirelessly to resolve that issue of payments before the league starts

“From the information we have, the league will start around October, so it has not yet started and we are working around the clock to resolve all those issues before the league starts so that we start the new season on a clean slate. I think we appreciate the challenges that are there.”