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Mbalula backs SASCOC ahead of London 2012

Sports Minister Mr Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday expressed his confidence in the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) leadership, but urged the governing body to put its “battles” aside and focus on London 2012.

Mbalula was addressing the SASCOC board members and the media at Olympic House in Johannesburg and responding to allegations of in-house fighting between SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy and SASCOC President Mr Gideon Sam.

Im fully confident in the SASCOC leadership. We are on a journey, one that we defined and we are on track with our goals, Mbalula said. Yes, theres always a concern when reports of in-house disagreement surface and such issues need to be addressed accordingly. Right now though, our focus is the London games.

Both Mbalula and Sam agreed that no issue should take precedence over athletes. If the public wants different leaders, thats what elections are for. The public will speak, said Sam. However, right now our main focus and goals have to be ensuring that we provide the necessary means and resources for our athletes for London and to make sure that we do far better than 2008 Olympics.

Responding to questions of possible financial difficulties in the sporting fraternity Mbalula assured the public that no athlete will suffer because of finances

We will sit together and pool all resources and reserves to ensure our athletes are supported. We have a funding plan in motion. Government and the private sector need to come on board, Mbalula reported while Sam agreed that National Federations financial difficulties should not affect their structures in place.

Mbalula also asked CEO Reddy to set up an urgent meeting with the South African Football Association (SAFA) for SASCOC and the Ministry to address SAFA jointly on various issues that need addressing with the leadership.

Regarding the Cricket South Africa (CSA) financial probe, Mbalula is waiting for Judge Nicholson’s report which will be issued at the end of February.


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