Yesterday the South African Football Association (SAFA) Development Agency announced that, without focus, sufficient funding, governance and stability, SAFA’s Vision 2022 will not be possible.
CEO, Robin Petersen, was in attendance as he spoke of the importance that all of the above will have in making sure that South African football gets back to the top.
A statement said, “With approximately three million active football players, over 20,000 clubs, 40,000 teams, 341 Local Football Associations (LFAs) across 52 Regions and 9 Provinces – SAFA is well placed to transform South African football. The football organisations’ intentions were made clear following the development of the semi-autonomous arm - the SAFA Development Agency in January 2013.
“(Robin) Petersen pointed out that the approach adopted by the SAFA Development Agency is simple, it tackles multiple layers of development and it requires involvement from various stakeholders, including communities and businesses. He acknowledged that the organisation’s plans have previously been outlined and that key partnerships have already proven valuable – but he reiterated that more must be done.”
Then, Petersen himself said, “It is our vision to create a platform where knowledge and insight can be shared,” Petersen commented during the full day event. “We are not only looking for funding, we are looking for partners. Today is significant for the organisation because we have chosen to showcase working partnerships in the space of football development. Case in point, the global alignment of Chevrolet and One World Futbol Project, a Non-Profit Organisation that works in needy communities the world over to introduce the beauty of football to children in the most needy areas.”
The donation of 50,000 nearly indestructible footballs is an indication of Chevrolet’s commitment to the development of South African football, but Petersen asked the question what more can be done and what learnings can be pulled from the Chevrolet case study by corporate South Africa, government and ordinary citizens to achieve Vision 2022?
SAFA’s ‘Seven Streams of Success’:
1. Develop and entrench a uniform South African National Football Philosophy.
2. Build rich and robust talent identification and development pipeline that starts at U13 at a Local Football Association (LFA) level.
3. Build and administer a comprehensive national competitions framework, built on a foundation of licensed and developed clubs.
4. Train and deploy sufficient coaches to create a 1:20 ratio of coach to players (100,000 coaches in ten years or 10,000 per annum).
5. Upgrade football infrastructure and administration at all levels.
6. Identify and utilise the best technology at all levels.
7. Utilise the best researched and most up to date practice of Sports Science and medicine to ensure full development of players.
Over 5,000 referees and match officials along with 100,000 coaches could benefit from the SAFA’s Vision 2022, including the training of administrators in the 9 provinces, 341 LFAs and 20,000 clubs.
Petersen concluded, “At the heart of what we are trying to achieve is building our nation, by using football to bond, connect and inspire. If we reflect on what was achieved during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, this can be our future. We need to build a national team that has a chance to succeed during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.”