Takeover runs into trouble

Dumisani Mncedani
Dumisani Mncedani

Plan by banned owner to take over East Cape franchise challenge

FORMER Blackburn Rovers chairman Dumisani Mncedani has bought ABC Motsepe franchise Jeffreys Bay Milan, which falls under the National Soccer League (NSL), despite serving a four-year suspension from all soccer activities.

Mncedani was found guilty by a Professional Soccer League disciplinary committee for assaulting referee Bafana Mosia in April 2013 during a Blackburn match against United FC at Mthatha Stadium.

At the time, PSL prosecutor Nandé Becker said: “I hope this will send a strong message to all football officials and players.

“We all have the right to disagree with decisions made by match officials, but at the end of the day we must respect not only the decisions, but also the officials who make the decisions, even if they may have been wrong.

“Under no circumstances will the league stand idly by and tolerate any forms of violence or disrespect towards match officials.

“The type of behaviour exhibited by Mr Mncedani simply has no place in football.”

Mncedani said: “The club will be based in Alice, which is my home town.”

He plans to name the team Blackburn Rovers next season.

“I want to unearth the hidden talent in Alice and the surrounding areas. When you own a football club, your plans are simple and that is to gun for promotion.

“JB Milan was on sale and I saw an opportunity. I negotiated with the former owner.

“An agreement was sent to the SA Football Association [Safa] for approval and they approved it.”

Mncedani believes his suspension from the NSL does not stand since the ABC Motsepe League is run under the auspices of Safa.

“NSL and Safa are two different things. Each side has its own disciplinary committees.

“I don’t see my suspension from the PSL affecting the club that I bought,” Mncedani said.

But Safa competitions director Jeff Monnakgotla disagreed.

“The suspension remains even if he was suspended by the NSL,” Monnakgotla said.

But he could not comment any further until Safa EC regional secretary Isaac Klaas confirmed Mncedani was the official owner of the franchise.

Klaas said he had indeed received documents from the national Safa office confirming transfer of ownership.

“Head office approved the deal. I received an e-mail confirming the purchase. I do have documents with Dumisani Mncedani’s name stating that the former owner of Blackburn Rovers has bought JB Milan.”

But Safa official Dominic Chimhavi said a recommendation to the body’s competitions committee had been made to reverse the sale because “Mncedani has committed a serious offence”.

Chimhavi said: “Due to the offence committed by the buyer [Mncedani], the committee should write a letter informing him that the sale was not approved in line with the competitions rules and regulations.”

Chimhavi agreed with Mncedani’s understanding of PSL and Safa having two different committees, but he said that “as the mother body and as the governing body of soccer in the country, we are here to protect the match officials and that’s why we have made such a recommendation.

“If we allow it [the sale] and don’t take action, what message are we sending out?

“It is our duty as Safa to protect the match officials, to protect the game and to protect the integrity of the game,” Chimhavi said.

-Vuyokazi Nkanjeni 

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