Bafana legends McCarthy, Zuma join World Football Summit Africa line-up

Benni McCarthy and Sibusiso Zuma during the African Cup of Nations match against Tunisia in 2006. Picture: Lefty Shivambu\Gallo Images
Benni McCarthy and Sibusiso Zuma during the African Cup of Nations match against Tunisia in 2006. Picture: Lefty Shivambu\Gallo Images

Benni McCarthy and Sibusiso Zuma, two legends of South African football, will be sharing their experiences and insights at the first edition of World Football Summit Africa in March.

The event will bring together the very best of the global and African football in Durban on March 17 and 18.

The two former Bafana Bafana players will join an illustrious and diverse lineup of speakers for the conference.

McCarthy and Zuma played for Bafana for many years, with McCarthy playing between 1997 and 2012 and Zuma from 1998 to 2008.

The 31 goals in 80 appearances that McCarthy netted make him South Africa’s all-time top scorer and one of the country’s leading sporting legends.

The former striker from Cape Town is also the only South African to have won the Uefa Champions League with José Mourinho’s Portuguese side Porto in the 2003/04 season.

With 13 goals from 67 caps, Zuma too made a lasting impression during his time with Bafana, even captaining the team in the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.

At club level, he played for African Wanderers and Orlando Pirates before signing for Denmark’s FC Copenhagen, where he had an extremely successful spell. He is considered one of the club’s legends.

His bicycle kick goal against Brondby in the final match of the 2001 Superliga Championship, in which Copenhagen secured the title, was voted the greatest moment in the history of the club.

Even after hanging up their boots, they’ve both kept busy with McCarthy coaching Cape Town City for two years. Zuma, meanwhile, is highly involved in the fight against poverty through the Sibusiso Zuma Foundation, which helps young kids with HIV, since 2010.

Both footballers bring vast experience to the summit’s panel that is expected to feature more than 80 speakers. More than 1 200 delegates are expected to come together for the two-day event.

They will tackle, among others, the success of African players in European club football and its benefits for the continent as well as the role that football legends, such as McCarthy and Zuma, play in the development of the game across the continent.

Former Argentina international and Estudiantes chairperson Juan Sebastián Verón, Fifa secretary-general Fatma Samoura, Safa president Danny Jordaan, LaLiga president Javier Tebas, Olympique Marseille general-director Laurent Colette, Facebook strategic partnership manager Kike Levy and Sihle Zikalala, the premier of KwaZulu-Natal, are all expected to attend.

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