Safa gets Fifa windfall

2010-12-13 16:48

A multimillion rand Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust was launched by Fifa president Sepp Blatter today.

The trust, which was a $100 million (about R680 million) strong, is in actual fact worth about $80 million (about R550 million) because the South African Football Association (Safa) had taken an advance of about $20 million (about R136 million) to build the Safa House and to prepare Bafana Bafana for the World Cup.

Blatter said the money, which will be put in a trust fund, will be used for education, development, administration, co-ordination of promotion of football.

The fund will be administered by a board of trustees made up of representatives from Safa, government and private sector. Safa also received 35 buses and 52 vehicles as part of the World Cup legacy project.Blatter said he was more than a happy president.

“This is a great day for Africa and South Africa and I am more happy than proud. This shows (the) Fifa World Cup is not a circus (where) people come and put (up) tents and after the tournament they go; it is more than that. We want to make sure that people will keep on talking about the World Cup because of the legacy that we leave behind,” said Blatter.

He said he was pleased that future events were going to Russia (2018) and the Arab state of Qatar (2022).

When asked about gay football fans who would like to go to Qatar in 2022 but are scared to do so because homosexuality is banned in that country, Blatter said he had no doubt that they would be admitted.

“We are living in a world of freedom and there are no boundaries in football and there shall be no discrimination against any human beings. I always said in Fifa we are better in politics, religion and racism and we want to open the game to everybody and all cultures.”

Blatter said the World Cup in Africa has seen more than 20 Football for Hope Centres being built across the continent – the first in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

“We have also built 54 playing fields across the Africa and supplied equipment for player registration and competition management that will ensure that about 70 000 young kids will benefit. The most important thing is the health programme established in Africa.”

President Jacob Zuma said government wanted to ensure a lasting legacy in both development and education with the emphasis on school sports. He said it would make sure that the One Goal campaign continues to benefit more children in the country. “We want the sport to be re-organised in schools and make sure every school has playing fields. We will also put emphasis on further training of coaches and referees, particularly in rural areas,” said Zuma.

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