Sport on by Mogan Segadavan
IT seems the more things change the more they remain the same.
Recently a former well- known sports administrator cum politician queried why the NMMU soccer team was affiliated to the Port Elizabeth Football Association (Pefa) and not to the Northern Areas FA (Nafa).
He quickly realised the stupidity of his statement and the conversation ended abruptly because the New Brighton FA (Nebfa), the Motherwell FA (Mofa), the Kwazakele FA (Zafa) and the rest of the local football associations could ask the same question.
The fact of the matter is that the University of Port Elizabeth team was affiliated to the EP Football Association which became the Pefa when all the soccer bodies in the area merged to form the Eastern Province Football Union (EPFU later Safa-Ep and now Safa-Nelson Mandela Bay).
It follows that NMMU would continue its affiliation with Pefa.
In any event the university is situated within the area Pefa draws its teams from.
One of the conditions of the unification process was that it was compulsory for teams to register with an association in the area in which the players live.
An unfortunate consequence of this decision was the demise of Drosdty FC, which was the oldest football team in the province and probably the oldest in the country as well.
The club was forced to sever its affiliation with Pefa and affiliate with Uitenhage, where it was based. Within a season or two it closed shop.
Before unification soccer in the province was controlled by four bodies – Eastern Province Soccer Board, (EPSB), Eastern Province Football Association (EPFA), Kwazakele Soccer Board (Kwasbo) and Uitenhage and District Soccer Board (Udisbo).
When EPSU was formed EPSB and EPFA remained intact changing their names to Nafa and Pefa respectively.
Kwasbo on the other hand disappeared from the scene with Zafa, Nebfa, Mofa, etc emerging.
Udisbo also vanished with Nobhle-Despatch FA and Langa-Rosedale FA in its place.
Names have been changed and areas redefined but has there been a change in the way football is played (and managed) in the province?
Ironically it is only the previously all-white Pefa which has players of all races in its fold.
For the rest, it is business as usual.