Blow for South Africa: CSA banned from hosting any international tournaments
In what comes as a blow to the sport in South Africa, the official board, Cricket South Africa (CSA) is now banned from hosting any cricketing tournaments in the country.
South Africa’s sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, imposed the ban due to the failure to meet transformation guidelines. It is reported that Mbalula took the decision after receiving the annual transformation report from the eminent person’s group (EPG), a ministerially appointed independent committee.
The ban is also extended to other sports in the country including rugby, athletics and netball until the decision is reviewed again next year.
This sanction means that the CSA cannot lobby or express interest in any tournament in any sport until cleared by their sports minister.
Not so long ago, South Africa was a part of 5 countries that signed a memorandum of understanding with the sports ministry with a general 60% players-of-color target across national representative men’s teams.
However the national cricket team of the country had only 55% of their team made up of players of color and 45% white and with this portraying no transformation from the time the memorandum was signed, CSA is now under a ban.
Speaking to the media addressing the ban, Mbalula said, It is the right thing to do considering the grave injustices of the past but there is also the reality that 84% of the country’s under-18 population is black African.”
“To ignore this from a sustainability perspective alone will be suicidal,” he added.
Willie Basson, a member of the EPG and a former CSA acting president also felt that the progress that was aimed is rather slow and that it was not acceptable for the nation.
“The projections (for demographic representation) stretch into 2030 and 2040. We cannot have that,” he said.
He also insisted that the nation will have play for neglecting the issue right now and added, “If we cannot mobilize the black Africanisation in our sport, we will pay the consequence in the not so distance future.”
Mbalula who installed transformation committees for CSA and also for Rugby in the nation has now made it a requirement for all sports federations.
These committees are in the 3rd year of the transformations and will work strenuously until South African teams are considered adequately representative.
These suspensions that are now issued can have even bigger consequences if they continue for the next year.
They include suspension of government funding, withdrawing government recognition of the federation as a national federation and withdrawing political support for endorsements and sponsorships.
No major ICC senior tournament is scheduled to be held in the country until 2023 at least but the U-19 World Cup is set to be played in Africa in 2019 and this will now be shifted away from the country.
But the biggest problem is the fact that they cannot host any bilateral cricket tournaments till May next year and will lose a lot of revenue in the process.
Do you think the ban on CSA is justified?
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