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Another soccer legal eagle gets the boot

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Another soccer legal eagle gets the boot

by Brian Gaffney
24 Oct 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

The South African Football Association (Safa) Cape Town faces massive legal costs as well as other expenses after the Safa national disciplinary committee got tough with their embattled regional affiliate at the weekend.

The move by Safa CT to appoint a lawyer, Thato Mahapa, as its representative in an ongoing battle with with one of its disgruntled affiliates, the Local Football Association (LFA) Northern Suburbs, came under fire at the disciplinary committee hearing in Johannesburg.

The LFA claims that the Safa CT elections at its annual meeting in May were "unconstitutional on the grounds that no financial statement was submitted".

According to the disciplinary committee, Mahapa serves on the appeal board of Safa CT and was therefore not welcome at the meeting according to a ruling taken at the previous hearing.

Lawyer and National Executive Member (NEC) Vernon Seymour, who also serves on the Safa CT appeal board, was stopped from fighting the regional affiliate's case earlier this month.

Safa CT must now bear the costs of Saturday, 20 October, which could be in excess of R50 000.

The LFA said it would claim legal fees of R36 000 for their representative, Charles Simon, while the LFA's air fare to Johannesburg totalled R9 000 and the disciplinary committee's bill is R9 000.

In response to the disciplinary decision, Les Julies, the chairperson of Safa CT said yesterday: "Safa CT will not comment at this stage; we will do so when we find it necessary."

Safa CT's argument that the LFA Northern Suburbs was recently suspended for five years and fined R7 000 for allegedly participating in an unauthorised tournament held no weight at the disciplinary hearing.

In May the LFA Northern Suburbs as well as LFA Cape Town Tygerberg, LFA Mitchell's Plain and LFA Metropolitan withdrew from the elections in protest.

But the newly elected exco headed Julies won the support of 14 out of the 19 LFA's affiliated to Safa CT.

The LFA Northern Suburbs, headed by Les Mondo, said: "Safa CT must show true leadership and try to resolve the matter.

"There will be no winners if the controversy is allowed to drag on".

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