SAFA : SAFA vs SASFA the battle for school sports

SAFA : SAFA vs SASFA the battle for school sports

The Court case between South African Schools Football Association (“SASFA”) and South African Football Association (“SAFA”)

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Yesterday, SASFA challenged SAFA’s decision of 29 March 2015 and 26 September 2015, respectively to withdraw its recognition of SASFA, and to withdraw SAFA’s mandate to SASFA to administer schools’ football in the country.

The matter was heard by Mr Justice Nkosi, Acting Judge.

At the commencement of the hearing, SASFA withdrew the relief which sought to declare the SAFA decisions aforementioned, unlawful.

The matter was thus argued only in relation to SASFA’s claim that the alleged dispute between SASFA and SAFA arising from the aforesaid decisions, be referred to independent arbitration.

In relation to the merits, SAFA contended that its Statutes authorised it to withdraw its recognition of SASFA, and to terminate SASFA’s mandate to administer schools’ football.

SAFA’s authority to do so was not contested by SASFA.

SASFA’s main claim was that there was allegedly an agreement reached prior to the 29 March 2015 meeting that the matter would be held in abeyance for twenty-one (21) days.

However, SAFA pointed out that SASFA was represented in the meeting on 29 March 2015, and that the SASFA representative did not object to the passing of the resolution, and in fact did not vote against it.

The rationale for SAFA taking over the administration of schools’ football is that SASFA administers schools’ football only for some 3 000 in knock-out competitions, and does not administer schools for the 27 000 throughout the country.

SAFA was thus required by the Department of Sport and Recreation SA to take over the running of schools’ football throughout the country.

In relation to the request for arbitration, SAFA and SASFA had agreed to refer the matter to arbitration, but when it came before the independent arbitrator in September 2015,

SASFA objected to the appointment of the arbitrator, insisting that the parties must agree the name of the arbitrator.

Accordingly, the arbitration did not take place, and SAFA’s offer to arbitrate the alleged dispute expired.

In regard to SASFA’s press release that certain concessions were made by SAFA’s counsel during the hearing, SAFA rejects these contentions not only because they are inappropriate given that the matter is pending before a Court of law, but also because it is entirely incorrect.

SASFA, in its founding affidavit, had alleged that SAFA had “dissolved SASFA”.

What SAFA’s counsel pointed out was that SASFA had not been dissolved, but had its recognition withdrawn by SAFA, and that accordingly SASFA may continue to exist as an entity.

We wish to point out that SAFA’s decisions aforementioned take effect immediately, and that accordingly, since 26 September 2015, SAFA administers all schools’ football.