The Iron Lady of football, Natasha Tsichlas, has offered to step back from taking the Vice-President of SAFA post after she was unanimously appointed for the position on Saturday, 19 September 2020, allowing for the reinstatement of Ria Ledwaba.

As the longest serving woman in football, the former Mamelodi Sundowns Managing Director, expressed her concerns regarding the state of the game in the South Africa.

Tsichlas pointed out the following:

  • Pursuing the matter of arbitration, which in my view may be prolonged and costly.
    • As a business woman, I always believed that the money in football must be used to promote the development of football. I therefore requested a consultation on the matter. This consultation with the members of NEC who were present in the meeting on Saturday, 19 September 2020 took place on Monday, 21 September 2020.
    • The NEC having deliberated on the matter and having considered my submission agreed that it would be wise to withdraw from the arbitration process and reinstate Ria Ledwaba as Vice-President of SAFA.
    • This however, must in my view not be regarded as my agreeing with or condoning any act of misconduct or turning a blind eye to any wrong doing.
    • The women on the SAFA Executive were insulted, abused, humiliated and even had their lives threatened by people who have made no contribution to the growth of football in our country.
    • SAFA is a leader in promoting women in football (Administration, Coaches, Referees, National Team Coaches, promotion of Education and the promotion of our players internationally).
    • I have served on the women committees of both CAF and FIFA for many years, promoting the interest of women and both CAF and FIFA are full of praise of SAFA and its leadership’s role in the promotion of women in football.
    • Ria Ledwaba sold her club in 2002 and left football.
    • After I served on the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee as a Board member, I convinced the NEC to bring Ria back to football in 2013. I am happy that I could convince the NEC then and express my appreciation to the NEC to agree to withdraw from the arbitration and to reinstate Ria Ledwaba.

Speaking on Tsichlas’ decision to not take the VP position, SAFA CEO, Adv. Tebogo Motlanthe said, “SAFA is happy to endorse the presentation of Natasha Tsichlas and to support it from one of our selfless women leaders who offered to step back from the VP post for Ria Ledwaba to return.

“We want to reiterate that this must not be viewed as condonation of wrong-doing but a response from an internationally recognized woman leader in football.

“We further agreed that the money that would have been spent on legal costs is better served to provide our 52 Regions with financial support to further football development,” Motlanthe concluded.

 

 

Photo 1 Caption: Natasha Tsichlas is one of our selfless women leaders who offered to step back from the VP post for Ria Ledwaba to return. Photo: SAFA