PRETORIA: Dennis Mumble, chief competitions officer at the 2010 World Cup, has replaced Robin Petersen as chief executive officer of the South African Football Association.

Petersen has been moved sideways by SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani to head a newly-established Development Agency. The changes have come just over a week after SAFA had declared an operating loss of millions of rand.

Mumble has been a senior member of the Safa staff ever since the World Cup, the first finals tournament ever staged in Africa.

Petersen joined SAFA only in August last year, taking over from Pinky “Sister Boss” Lehoko who now runs the organisation’s international affairs directorate. His tenure included the unhappy confusion over the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier when South Africa misunderstood the rules and played for a draw against Sierra Leone. In fact they needed a win and a  goalless draw meant they were eliminated.

Last week Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, answering parliamentary questions, insisted that SAFA remained “a going concern” despite its financial difficulties.

In a written reply to a question in the National Assembly, Mbalula said: “The association has received an unqualified audit from KPMG and has demonstrated that it remains a going concern.”

The question had been set down by Congress of the People MP Graham MacKenzie. He wanted to know why SAFA had reported an operating loss of £4m, given the amount of sponsorship the Premier Soccer League (PSL) received.

Mbalula said although the PSL was a “special member” of Safa, it had its own governance structures, generated its own revenues, and ran its own administration.

Given that it was the professional league in the country, it was able to command significant broadcast and sponsorship revenues for itself. SAFA, however, had to generate its revenues primarily through its national teams. This revenue had to be used to fund nine national teams, four leagues and all football development in the country.

The PSL gave Safa an annual grant of £500,000 from its TV funding.

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