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ASA situation very worrying – Mbalula

The Sport and Recreation Minister is scheduled to meet with Sascoc on Friday to discuss a way forward.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula stressed the importance of athletics. Picture: Marc Lewis/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The state of Athletics South Africa (ASA) is extremely worrying, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Thursday.

On Sunday, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) cut ties with ASA after members ignored sanctions placed on its board.

The minister is scheduled to meet with Sascoc on Friday to discuss a way forward.

Mbalula said there were certain procedures that needed to be followed before he could intervene in the matter.

"Athletics is one of the sporting codes that brought us medals. It is important we treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves."

Sascoc's Tubby Reddy argued ASA President James Evans left the committee with no choice.

Evans axed seven members of his own board unconstitutionally after he was impeached over alleged financial irregularities.

Sunday's decision means athletes affiliated to ASA will not be included in Team South Africa events, including the Commonwealth and Olympic games.

Despite this, Evans confirmed South African athletes will head to the world championships in Moscow as planned.

But Sascoc said as things stood, they would not consider athletes registered with ASA for any International Olympic Committee events in the future, including the 2016 Rio Olympics.

It will also stop funding athletes registered with ASA through their Operation Excellence (Opex) programme.