JOHANNESBURG – The integration of former footballers into the South African Football Association structures (Safa) early last week may hint at a new dawn for South African football.
In a statement released after the association’s national executive committee meeting last week the name of Lucas Radebe, the former Bafana Bafana, Kaizer Chiefs and Leeds United captain, caught the attention of many.
The 51-year-old former footballer joins the association as part of the technical set-up. That could be the beginning of the work towards a long-term dream as “Rhoo” had publicly expressed his intention to run for Safa presidency last year.
However, that didn’t yield any fruit as he had to withdraw from the elections because he needed to have spent at least five years within Safa’s structures to be eligible to run for the top seat.
But having acquired the position now, where he’ll be alongside former footballers David Nyathi and Buddha Mathathe, he may have taken a gigantic step into taking over from Danny Jordaan some day.
Among the players introduced to the structures during that NEC meeting was former footballer-turned-pundit Fabian McCarthy (commercial, media and marketing department).
In shaping the image of the association, McCarthy will work alongside Brian Baloyi who’s an ambassador of gambling franchise Hollywoodbets and part of the South African Football Legends’ forum.
Meanwhile, the association is expected to put their grievances with one of their vice-presidents, Ria Ledwaba, to bed after she was reinstated to her position when Natasha Tsichlas opted to turn down the role during the NEC meeting.
Ledwaba was relieved from her duties as Jordaan’s deputy in June, alongside Gay Mokoena, following their act of misconduct, having directly contacted the minister of sport Nathi Mthethwa to intervene with issues pertaining to the day-to-day running of the association.
Contacted by IOL Sport for her response on working with Jordaan, Ledwaba replied through a text message: “I only heard now that I am reinstated. I will meet with my legal team before making any interviews.”
Jordaan told the publication: “The statement is there. And so is everything that you need to know. So, there’s nothing or anything that will be said by anyone going further.”