State-of-the-art football academy ‘to ensure we have winning teams’

2013-11-14 00:00

THE construction of a state-of-the-art football academy situated in Durban was given the green light by the provincial government after a cabinet meeting with Safa president Danny Jordaan in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The visionary Jordaan was one of the main figures involved in bringing the 2010 Fifa World Cup to South Africa. He hailed the decision as historic and “very important” for the beautiful game in both the country and the province.

Jordaan’s vision was to have a state-of-the-art academy in every province. He said KZN was the first frontier in ensuring that Bafana Bafana not only qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but they went there as a tough competitor.

“Most top competitive teams in South Africa have a number of players that are from KZN. This is the first step to reconstruct South Africa and to ensure that we have winning teams,” said the president.

Yesterday, cabinet authorised the provincial government’s annual contribution of R10 million over three years towards the academy. Premier Senzo Mchunu said they were in search of the world’s best practices in improving the quality of football.

“It is for these reasons that we are teaming up with eThekwini Municipality, IEC Sports International, and the South African Football Association to develop this state-of-the-art and high performance facility that will unleash a new generation of sports stars,” Mchunu said.

“We are all delighted that it will start in this province, and we are convinced that the stars we see on TV come from these types of academies,” he said.

“Following the successful hosting of Fifa World Cup in 2010, the provincial government has been engaging role-players in sports and big business as part of our efforts aimed at using soccer as a tool for addressing socio-economic challenges.

“The academy will provide well-designed sport and physical activity programmes which will serve as powerful tools for fostering healthy and personal development of young stars. It will teach positive values and life skills ensuring that our future sports stars become role- models,” Jordaan said.

The academy will be situated at Hoy Park. Its development will take place in three phases over three years. It will be headed by Paulo Cardoso, the man who discovered global superstars such as Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani of Manchester United.

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