Danny Jordaan talks tough on his plan to turn Safa’s fortunes around

2013-11-17 14:00

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Safa president’s boldness came to the fore in a week when match-fixing made news again. S’busiso Mseleku reports.

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan laid down the gauntlet to his executive this week when he said: declaring“By the end of our tenure, we should have turned Safa into a R1?billion organisation.”

This was a bold statement for an entity that reported a R46?million loss in its previous financial year.

Jordaan said: “As Safa leadership, we need to adopt a distaste for mediocrity and an intolerance for?...?failure.”

Jordaan was speaking at a dinner at which Safa was hosting Fifa secretary-general Jérôme Valcke.

Valcke declared his organisation’s support for Safa, which included assistance with raising sponsorship.

He said: “All they have to do is ask. We have the expertise in many spheres of football administration and a host of global partners.”

Valcke was in the country for a Fifa 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust board meeting.

He said it was sad that Bafana Bafana had failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Brazil after being the hosts in 2010.

“I am glad that Danny [Jordaan], who is a friend I have worked with for years, was elected [Safa] president. I hope this is the beginning of a new era that will see Bafana Bafana qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.”

Valcke said besides the $250?000 (R2.5?million) annual grant Fifa gives to its 209-member national associations, it also offered assistance in different spheres such as skills development for players and administrators.

He said each member association had received a $550?000 bonus from 2010 World Cup profits and there was a 25% growth from each event.

“This means the Brazil World Cup will be bigger than the one in South Africa and so will the 2018 event in Russia,” he said.

Jordaan said Bafana Bafana had attracted huge viewership numbers on SABC and SuperSport channels.

“But, unfortunately, the team has failed to translate this into results on the field,” he said.

He then elaborated on his Vision 2022 plan that aims to produce future Bafana stars.

Jordaan said Safa, with funding from the trust, had already established Under-15 leagues in 290 of the 341 local football associations (LFAs) and Under-15 girls’ leagues in 90 LFAs.

This is part of a development pyramid system to ensure that there will always be 30 players ready for each of the national teams from Bafana Bafana to the Under-13s.

Jordaan said Safa was receiving phone calls from big companies.

“They are calling us [asking]: ‘Can we come speak to you?’

This is a positive sign that the corporate world has confidence in this newly elected executive to bring about change in South African football,” he said.

Having the women’s Under-20 and Under-17 national teams on the verge of qualifying for their respective World Cups were also positive signs, he said.

»?Meanwhile, Jordaan attended a sitting of the KwaZulu-Natalcabinet in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, where an annual financial contribution of R10?million over three years towards the construction and management of the Sports Development Centre and International Football Academy was approved.

“The Sports Development Centre, situated in the heart of Durban at Hoy Park, will become a flagship of youth sporting development for South Africa,” said KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu.

“We have teamed up with eThekwini Municipality, IEC in Sports International and [Safa] to develop this state-of-the-art and high-performance facility that will unleash a new generation of sports stars.”

The facility will develop players between the ages of 13 and 19.

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