Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The South African Football Association (SAFA) has banned the President and Technical Head of the South African Football Coaches Association (SAFCA) from all football-related activities for three years. SAFCA’s President, Greg Mashilo, and its Technical Head, Simon Ngomane, publicly criticised the appointment of Neil Tovey as SAFA’s Technical Director in June and the ban, issued with immediate effect, is reportedly a result of these comments.
Such actions were in ‘open defiance of the sports body’s communications policy’, SAFA’s Communications Director Dominic Chimhavi reportedly told local news outlets. According to The Sowetan, Chimhavi further explained that, under the policy, only SAFA’s President, Chief Executive or Communications Director were allowed to comment on the appointment.
According to The Sowetan, both Mashilo and Ngomane were brought before a disciplinary committee last month, chaired by sports lawyer Michael Murphy. SAFA reportedly sent a statement to the disciplinary committee saying that it took exception to the SAFCA officials’ comments as ‘similar negative utterances’ had afflicted SAFA in the past.
Chimhavi is reported to have said that the SAFCA officials’ comments were ‘a serious offence’ that portrayed SAFA ‘in a negative light to sponsors’. ‘We frown upon their comments,’ Chimhavi allegedly said. ‘They [Mashilo and Ngomane] took us a few steps back when we have been trying hard to move forward.’
On 28 June, SAFCA published a statement on its Facebook page titled ‘SAFCA Questions the Process of Appointing Technical Director.’ On it SAFCA stated that it was ‘extremely disappointed with the appointment of the country’s Technical Director (TD) before a Technical Authority is put in place.’
SAFCA argued that the SAFA had recently accepted a National Playing Philosophy (NPP) which had earlier been presented by SAFCA as part of its efforts to ‘transform the technical structure and the coaching curriculum’ in South African football. SAFCA had reportedly been awaiting a second round of talks with SAFA on the implementation of a Technical Authority to address these issues.
SAFCA subsequently accused SAFA of appointing Neil Tovey to the post of SAFA Technical Director without the ‘introduction and adoption’ of such a Technical Authority in line with Article 45 of the SAFA statutes. SAFCA Technical Head Simon Ngomane stated that SAFA had appointed Tovey without the ‘critical technical judicious processes that would have ended with a transparent, legitimate, fair, and quality assured appointment.’ SAFA’s statement continued that it was ‘extremely concerned by the allegations that the existing SAFA Technical Committee played no part in this critical appointment.’
According to the statement, SAFCA’s President Greg Mashilo learned of Tovey’s appointment in the media, stating that he was ‘surprised’ to hear of it, that as part of the leadership of the coaching body he was ‘expected to report to SAFCA’s members on technical matters’ but instead that he was left ‘in the dark’ by a move which put ‘SAFCA in a very precarious situation in the eyes of our members.’ Simon Ngomane further said in the statement that coaches were ‘beginning to question the sincerity of the Technical Workshop and the acceptance of the NPP as presented by SAFCA.’
Following the ban, Mashilo told The Sowetan that he would not comment as he intended to appeal against the ruling, but Ngomane is reported to have told the paper that he was unaware of whether SAFCA had filed an appeal on his behalf and that it would be ‘very interesting to see what the whole thing is all about.’
SAFCA published the recent article reporting on the ban by The Sowetan on its Facebook page, including the comments by both Mashilo and Ngomane.
The Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee has recommended a ban of ‘no less...