SA Football Association and Netball SA: briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

14 September 2004
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

LABOUR PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
14 September 2004
SA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION AND NETBALL SA: BRIEFING

Chairperson:
Mr B Komphela (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Presentation by South African Football Association
Presentation by Netball South Africa

SUMMARY
The South African Football Association (SAFA) addressed the Committee on its mission statement and its development plans in preparation of the 2006 and 2010 Soccer World Cup tournaments. Netball SA commented on the progress it had made in implementing transformation in netball, the difficulties it experienced with funding, and suggested how the Committee could assist in its work. The Committee undertook to provide assistance wherever possible.

MINUTES
The Chairperson introduced the SAFA delegation. Athletics South Africa, the United Cricket Board and the South African Rugby Football Union had sent apologies for being unable to attend the briefings.

Mr A Mokoena (CEO: SAFA) explained that the delegation was on its way to France to visit the French Football Association to gain knowledge on how it prepared for its 1998 World Cup success. The youth teams in South Africa did not attract funding from corporate South Africa, which seriously constrained the maintenance of these teams. In May 2004, SAFA appointed a new Head Coach, Mr Baxter, and his mandate was two-fold; to raise a team which would qualify for the 2006 World Cup and to plan to ensure a semi-finals or finals team in 2010. The Head Coach was responsible for all national teams, creating consistency and young talent development. He continued that the construction of team 2010 was one of the most important elements of South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup.

South African Football Association briefing
Mr S Baxter (SAFA Head Coach) spoke about SAFA's Mission Statement, which included the development of SA Football at all levels, forging a partnership with Government and creating a mutually beneficial relationship with the corporate world. He discussed SAFA's development programme, which had a long term development strategy with the aim of developing a world cup winning team. He discussed the proposed staffing structure of the National Football Academy and its International Support Structure. He addressed the role and locations of the Provincial P.E.A.K. Centres and the proposed curriculum of player development in South Africa.

Discussion
Mr C Frolick (ANC) congratulated SAFA on its working relationship with Government while maintaining its autonomy.

Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) said that it was good that South African Football was developing at all levels. He commented that the number of foreign players was increasing and asked if priority should be given to local players as part of developing South African soccer.

Mr T Lee (DA) commented that the development plan should be successful if all involved institutions supported SAFA. He added that there was very little stability in SAFA, especially from an administrative side. He continued that the budget that SAFA presented to corporate South Africa should focus on development so as to address the problem of funding. He asked if SAFA interacted at all with the United School Sports Association of South Africa. (USSASA)

General B Holomisa (UDM) asked if SAFA could encourage Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs to start second divisions that would broaden development and possibly even begin at an under-thirteen age group. He commented that many of the present soccer stars had come through the Smirnoff Challenge Cup and that the development plan could possibly be run concurrently to this or in a similar manner. This could attract a possible corporate sponsorship.

Prince Z Zulu (ANC) commented that resources were the main problem in the preparation for the 2010 World Cup and that these should be made available.

Rev M Khumalo (ACDP) asked if the development and preparation plan was SAFA's or Mr Baxter's plan, and if the plan would change if a new Head Coach was appointed. He asked what had happened to the Director of Coaches and the plans that he had made. He questioned what SAFA was doing in France and why they were only going now and if they still had the mandate to qualify the SA team for the 2006 World Cup.

Mr T Louw (ANC) commented that 80% of all goals scored in the PSL were scored by foreigners and asked if there was a program in place to address the lack of goal scoring by South African strikers.

Mr Mokoena said that he would take the concern of the number of foreign players to the PSL but that the PSL was independent from SAFA. He added that the lack of goal scoring strikers was a concern for SAFA. He answered that the stability of SAFA depended on who was speaking and that it was using its succession plan to create both factual and perceived stability. He answered that corporations were not interested in anything other than Bafana Bafana. He answered that USSASA were part of SAFA and that they co-operated through the Youth Affairs Commission. The School of Excellence was part of USSASA and sponsors did not work through SAFA but directly with USSASA. He continued that PSL clubs were encouraged to have second leagues and that it was one of the conditions of the clubs' operating licences. SAFA would start monitoring this. The Smirnoff Challenge Cup would be used as part of the plans as soon as there was co-operation between the various organs of football in South Africa. Resources were a problem but with the 2010 World Cup hosting it should improve. However, a large sponsor had withdrawn even after the 2010 announcement. He answered that the plan was SAFA's, regardless of who the Head Coach was. There had been a range of plans and after South Africa won the African Cup of Nations, they had failed to consolidate all these plans. With regard to the PSL technical aspects, SAFA had workshopped with PSL coaches to ensure that they fed into SAFA's plan.

Mr Baxter answered that the inability of strikers to score goals had no simple answer and could not be remedied on a national level but on a club level. SAFA needed to make sure coaches knew how to coach young strikers, that talent was identified and that a workshop and debate with PSL coaches on how to coach strikers was instituted.

Mr B Dlamini (IFP) commented that there needed to be consolidation between the Department, the federations and the regional academies, especially in the development of a curriculum, as it was at present developed by non-practitioners.

Ms M Ramakaba-Lesia (ANC) asked if a call centre for fans could be established through which fans could congratulate players and give advice. She asked how the soccer talent of children not in schools could be identified.

Ms D Morobi (ANC) asked why the focus was only on males and what was being done for female soccer players. She asked if professional players were drawn from the School of Excellence.

Mr E Mtshali (ANC) asked if former professional soccer players could not be used to assist the development of soccer in the townships. He asked if the reason corporations would not fund development was due to the "golden" handshake that certain SAFA officials received.

Mr Mokoena answered that the loss of sponsorship was not due to the "golden" handshake. He answered that there was a database of ex-professional players but that they were independent of SAFA and once there was co-ordination between all organs of South African soccer, they would be a good resource for development. He continued that the development of female soccer would be addressed at the next briefing but that the Fourth African Women's Football Competition was being launched that day. There was no call centre at present, but it would be considered. In the mean time writing letters was the most successful manner of communicating with SAFA. He answered that the district levels were encouraged to identify "street" players and to institutionalise them so that resources could be allocated to their development. There was a Mass Participation Program that dealt with this issue. He added that the visit to France was part of a continuous interaction and that it was part of fulfilling SAFA's mandate.

Mr Baxter added that in Switzerland an ex-professional player was being used very successfully to identify talent in the poorer areas by spending a couple of hours in these areas and organising informal games.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would be meeting with the Sports Academies of South Africa and that the coaches of National Teams should be present to co-ordinate. He commented that a culture of patriotism needed to be imparted to younger players so that South African players would be loyal to the country above their wallets. He continued that the issue of stability would be discussed at the next briefing as the manner in which coaches were being replaced was concerning. Coaches needed to leave a legacy and constant change created instability. He said that SAFA refused to accept funding by the Department as this funding came with red tape and accountability. SAFA needed to put money toward the teams and address the issue of accountability. He asked whether a failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup would mean a collapse in the plans for 2010 or would it be used as a platform and a measure in bettering the preparations. He agreed that SAFA needed to plan and budget for youth development as it showed sponsors that SAFA was taking it seriously, encouraging them to take it seriously. He said that the Committee would organise with SAFA to attend a SAFA event when the Committee went on provincial visits.

The Committee adopted the business plan and the report subject to amendments.

Netball South Africa briefing
Ms N Ravele (NSA President) discussed the transformation that had taken place in both the Constitution and the Policies of the NSA. She discussed the change in the demarcation of regions to ensure integration and the upgrading of NSA administration systems. She dealt with NSA's development and affirmative action plans laid out in the four-year Development plan. The focus was on the rural and small regions, facilitating and advising the building of netball facilities, improved coaching and umpiring and the development of female role models. She discussed the success of the target system and how NSA was attempting to promote professionalism in netball. The succession plan and the barriers and challenges which NSA faced were addressed, of which funding was the largest. The presentation was concluded with recommendations for increased political support and governmental assistance.

Discussion
Gen Holomisa congratulated NSA on its achievements and encouraged the Committee to address NSA's recommendations and assist with access to corporate sponsorship.

Mr Frolick commented that the growth of NSA at grass roots demanded growth at a national level and that the lack of internationally acceptable facilities was unacceptable. He added that USSASA should attempt to activate the use of unused facilities.

Mr Dikgacwi said that the report was inspirational but that the Committee should check up on the asserted transformation.

The Chairperson suggested that NSA use political influence to encourage sponsorship by inviting political figures to its events. He asked if the NSA was involved in the loveLife Games.

Ms Ravele answered that the Games were part of the Department's functions.

The Chairperson suggested that NSA consider the option of approaching municipal governments to included netball facilities as part of long-term multi-purpose facility developments such as an athletics track and swimming pool complex as this would increase the probability of the municipal government agreeing to assist. He proposed that the Committee attempt to oversee most of the sporting facilities in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga during the Committee's provincial visits.

The meeting was adjourned.

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