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Ludicrous Number Of Safa Officials In Mauritius 09/01/04
As our domestic soccer rolls on from crises to crises, at least officials from the South African Football Association (Safa) will have a welcome break as they group, en mass, in Mauritius this weekend.

Bafana Bafana take on the Indian Ocean country in a Cosafa Cup quarterfinal on Saturday and Reuters reports that there will be more Safa personal on the popular holiday getaway than players, a remarkable stat for such a 'low-key' game.

Whilst just 15 players have so far made the trip to the island, they have been joined by a whopping 18 officials, the vast majority of whom appear to have no direct involvement in proceedings.

When South Africa travelled to Burundi for a must-win African Cup of Nations qualifier in June 2003, they took with them just two officials outside of the team management structure. And as of yet there has been no official justification from Safa of what appears to be a blatant abuse of power.

This incident is just yet another in a long list that has left the governing body of the sport in South Africa with egg on their face.

Most recently they suspended national coach Shakes Mashaba for seven days for what they call a breach of contract, just weeks before the African Cup of Nations tournament in Tunisia which starts on January 24.

This follows long-running unhappiness from players based overseas about the way they are treated by the organisation, whose lack of communication has left many in the dark over their status.

And former Bafana Bafana technical advisor Eddie Lewis told CapeTalk radio on Thursday how miss-communication from Safa officials was nothing new.

"I remember Mark Fish telling me in 1998 how officials from Safa would phone about call-ups, and if you were not there, they would just never call back," he said.

The average domestic soccer fan must be hoping that the 18 Safa officials return from Mauritius this weekend rested and rejuvenated, ready to face what could be a crucial year for our game.

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