The South African Football Association (Safa) says it recognises and supports women's rights but will continue to believe its president Danny Jordaan is innocent of rape until this is proven otherwise by a court.
The association held a media briefing on Thursday afternoon where it shared its view on the rape case opened against Jordaan by former African National Congress MP Jennifer Ferguson.
Ferguson has publicly accused the Safa president of sexually assaulting her at a hotel in Port Elizabeth.
Safa's national executive committee says Jordaan has been unfairly treated by the media, making reference to former president Jacob Zuma's highly publicised rape trial.
Nec member Poobalan Govender-Sammy says the association will fully support Jordaan.
“In this regard, we point out that every person, with no exception, is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law.
“Our President is on record that he denies the allegations of the complainant, Ms Ferguson as announced by the media in October/November 2017, four (4) days before our Constitutional Congress.
“He further denied all allegations as announced in the media on 20 March 2018, which is 4 days before our scheduled Elective Congress.”
He says Jordaan is being treated unfairly by the media, referring to former President Jacob Zuma’s rape trial.
“The worrying tendency of a trial by the media… you’re all used to this because Zuma seems to have been tried by the media as well. This is outside of established structures.”
Safa has accused Ferguson of changing her version of events.
The football body says it supports the case going through the legal system so that Jordaan's innocence can be proven in court.
Govender-Sammy said: “We note very important and of course, with concern the complainant’s recent version which is significantly different from her 2017 October narrative. The Safa NEC is of the firm belief that this matter should be heard in the appropriate legal forum.”
Jordaan has denied through his lawyers that he sexually assaulted Ferguson.