Walk of Fame for Soccer Legends: Igolide Footprints briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

25 March 2008
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

It was noted that Members of the Committee had met with the Local Organising Committee the previous week, but more information was needed before a full meeting could be held, and therefore the proposed meeting on this day had been postponed. Questions would be asked in particular about the reason why the preliminary draw had not echoed the theme of the African World Cup.

Igolide Footprints then briefed the Committee on their proposal to establish a Walk of Fame for former soccer heroes. A high profile gala event was proposed, to introduce a permanent structure that would be put in place, similar to awards held elsewhere in the world. The contribution of African football had to be noted. City of Cape Town supported the promenade concept and was keen to be a partner in this venture. Durban had expressed interest, but had not agreed with the time frame of this year. Discussions had been held with the Local Organising Committee and South African Football Association. A panel would select twenty candidates, of whom twelve would be voted for and given induction in the first year; six from South Africa, and six from the rest of Africa. In subsequent years four new inductees would be chose. Special awards were proposed for Messrs Jordaan, Khoza and Oliphant for their contribution in securing the 2010 World Cup for South Africa. The promenade would become a tourist attraction and bring international attention and a legacy of the 2010 World Cup. A detailed business plan was available. There were community benefits. Junior academies would be established for football and sport in general. Igolide agreed that the selection panel must be open and welcomed suggestions, stating that it was hoped that this would grow into a bigger event.

Members commented that they would like to see such concepts in developing cities, and added that Presidents Mandela and Mbeki, amongst others, had played significant roles in getting the bid. They queried why former players and women were not involved, whether the clinics in rural areas would become a reality, the standard of referees, and how the academies would be tied into the concept. They expressed some concern about duplication of existing efforts, particularly the Hall of Fame, the need to ensure that nobody was left behind, and were also concerned about Cape Town having exclusive rights to the promenade. 
 history was needed behind the event. The Chairperson suggested that Igolide must approach the Director General of the Department in regard to funding, and possibly approach the Tourism, Hospitality and Education Sector Education and Training Authority (Theta) and the directors of the Hall of Fame, then revert back to the Committee.

Meeting report

Proposed meeting with Local Organising Committee
The Chairperson said that he would report back on a meeting held with members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2010 FIFA World Cup at the Union Buildings the previous week.  It was clear that the Committee needed a lot of information before engaging with the LOC.  Therefore the meeting scheduled with the LOC had been postponed pending further research. Job creation was one of the issues that needed to be addressed.  Members would need this information in order to interact with their constituents during the forthcoming constituency week. 

He said that two Special Measures Bills had been passed.  The legislation in respect of ambush marketing was already at work. It would be unfair to the Members to go into this important meeting unprepared.  National issues would be discussed, and the people needed to know what was happening.  It seemed that 2010 was becoming a secret agenda.

The Chairperson said that this Committee also needed to know of the 2010 related activities being done by other Portfolio Committees.  A programme of imbizos would be needed to inform the public.  Some people might have different perspectives.  Another important question was who was benefiting from 2010.  The Committee needed to know which contractors and sub-contactors were involved.  The major building contractors had only been allowed to bid for one of the nine stadiums each.  They would be disqualified from the contract awarded to them if they had submitted extra bids in disguise.  There were also fears about the preparations of the national team, and he asked if these fears were well founded.

Mr R Bhoola (MF) said that the LOC could not provide the Committee with proper documents.  He therefore agreed that there was no point in holding a meeting at this stage.

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) said that it was a good decision to postpone the meeting with the LOC.  The Members needed to be better informed so that they were not ambushed by the LOC members.  There had to be a balance between the information and the presentation.  The tournament had to benefit the entire nation.

The Chairperson said that the Committee would do its work without fear or favour.  There were certain non-negotiable issues, and transformation was one of them.  The people needed to know that the government was doing its work.  The Minister would need assistance if he was to correct the wrongs.  Members of the Committee could be all over the country gathering information. 

He said that a better understanding of progressive sport was needed.  White rugby players were contemptuous of Mr Pieter de Villiers, the new Springbok coach, and would “regard him as a ‘kaffir’”.  Members of the Committee had met with Black rugby captains the previous week.  Their question to the Members had been why power in rugby still lay in the hands of former players.  The sport could not be their exclusive terrain.  Even if they were opposed to development, they must accept decisions.  Concerns were being raised about affirmative action.

Mr Bhoola said that KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) should be boasting about the way it had hosted the World Cup preliminary draw.  In terms of transformation, an added issue should be the disadvantaged communities.  There must be a set of rules.  Key people from sports bodies and clubs were not invited, but friends of LOC members had been prominent.

The Chairperson said that this was a concern that the LOC had to answer for.  He had expected the preliminary draw to echo the theme of an African World Cup, but the presentation had been very western in bias, with no African flair.

Walk of Fame: Igolide Footprints briefing
Mr Peter Mdlalose, Director, Igolide Footprints, introduced the Igolide Footprints delegation, who would speak to the Walk of Fame proposal.

Mr Mark Linden, Consultant, Igolide Footprints, had been a referee for ten years, but quipped that facing the Committee made him more nervous than if was about to referee a match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.  The proposal for the Walk of Fame was a simple concern of recognising and honouring football heroes of the past.  The plan was to host a high profile gala event, and to put in place a permanent structure.  Many footballers needed to be honoured.  This was not a new idea.  He referred to the Golden Boot awards that were held annually in Monaco.  There was a walkway there that honoured the top players.  This was similar to the Hollywood walkway.

He said that the contribution of African football had to be noted.  Igolide would be linking with the City of Cape Town, which supported the promenade concept and was keen to be a partner in this venture. There had been discussions with Cape Town and the South African Football Association (SAFA).  There had also been discussions with Durban, but there was slow progress on that front. Igolide wished to tie their proposal up with the LOC’s requirement for a legacy project.  Permission to continue with the project was needed from SAFA and the LOC.

Mr Linden said that a panel would be constituted to select twenty candidates for the first year, in 2008.  Twelve of these candidates would be selected for induction.  Six of these would be South Africans and the other six from the rest of Africa.  These persons could be either still alive or those stars who had passed away. Thereafter four more inductees would be chosen each year on the same principle, namely two South Africans and two from the rest of Africa.  For 2008, awards would be made to Mr Danny Jordaan, Mr Irvin Khoza and Mr Oliphant for their efforts in securing the 2010 World Cup for South Africa.  These would be special awards.  The other awards would be official.  The media would be used to help identify candidates.

He repeated that Cape Town would host the promenade.  This might become a tourist attraction in its own right.  It was an opportunity to honour the Continent’s great players.  It would also be exposure for the city and would attract international attention.  The idea would be promoted in the townships and marketed broadly.  A legacy would be provided.  African talent was not being recognised at present.  The Committee was provided with copies of the presentation and of the business plan.

Mr Jason Freel, Director, Igolide Footprints and MacLeods Attorneys, said that the business plan document provided a more detailed history.  It included Igolide Footprints’ aims and objectives.  There were community based benefits.  The gala dinner would be the focal point of the celebrations.  This would generate funds and community initiatives.  Junior academies would be established for football and sport in general. 

He said that former players were often forgotten and neglected.  Igolide Footprints wanted to put forward a proposal that would make sense at various levels.  The document was more an exposition of their plans rather than a business plan.

Mr D Dikgacwi (ANC) noted that Cape Town and Durban were the only cities considered to host the promenade.  He would like to see such concepts being put in place rather in developing cities.  Other provinces stood no chance.  He noted that the first recipients of the honour would be those who brought the World Cup to South Africa.  However, there were other significant role players in the awarding of the bid.  These included President Mbeki, former President Mandela and various ambassadors.  He asked who was on the panel, and if there were no other people who could serve there.  He asked why there were no former players involved.  He said that in rugby new players were used as analysts.  Former players could do a magnificent job, and their skills should be used.

Ms Ntuli said it was good to honour people who were so dedicated.  She asked what it was that made these people top of their craft.  Young people needed motivation as they would be the future champions.  The process of honouring the stars should not be privatised, but should be opened as widely as possible.  She agreed that there were numerous people who had played key roles in winning the bid for 2010.  She thought there may be certain requirements for members of the panel.  She asked why there were no women.  She asked how the policy could be reviewed so as to create a gender-blind panel.  Women needed to be uplifted.

Mr Bhoola said the concept was excellent, and was a way in which heroes would be remembered.  Only in particular societies was there honouring of sporting heroes and heroines at present.  He had heard there was something coming regarding disadvantaged areas.  Durban had been mentioned in passing.  He asked what was dragging the process.  Clinics would be held in rural areas, but he asked to what extent this would become a reality.  He asked if these had started or whether this was just part of the presentation.  He noted Mr Linden’s experience as a referee.  He asked if anything was being done to improve the standard of refereeing. 

He said that the presentation revolved around the grass roots activities.  He asked what skills were being utilised in the rural areas.  A culture of respect for referees had to be created.  SAFA and the LOC needed to buy into the concept.  One must not forget that this would be the first World Cup to be held in the Third World.  He too agreed that due respect must be paid to the work of the individuals named, but the roles of the two Presidents must also be acknowledged.  He asked how the academies would be tied into the concept, and if there was any duplication of existing efforts.

Mr Mdlalose responded that he himself had been born and raised in Soweto.  They had no electricity in his area, and relied on radio to follow the football.  There were so many contributors to the enjoyment of the game.  The list of persons who should be honoured had been trimmed down, but they had looked at everyone, including the radio commentators.  He had come to Cape Town in 1997, and found the city to be racially divided.  He had started a backpacker’s hotel in Green Point, and had enjoyed interaction with people from all countries.  He offered free transport in a bid to penetrate the market.  He had conducted his own research and interviews.  Through this experience, he had realised that the beauties of Cape Town were being marketed, but not the people.  The events of 9/11 had forced him to look again at the South African situation.  The position of the currency was a factor that was making South Africa an attractive destination.  He had started a soccer tournament in which several black teams took part.  This was held at the original Green Point Stadium.  He had later started a tournament between the various backpackers establishments.  The tourism authorities had supported this, and the tourists had grouped themselves by their countries.  Some international stars had been attracted to play for the different national teams. 

Mr Mdlalose said that he wished to boost the image of the black man in South Africa.  The panel included Mr Mike Madlela.  There were concerns about the composition of the panel, but it had not yet been finalised.  The reaction so far had been an eye-opener. 

Mr Mdlalose noted that there had been a presentation in Durban.  The authorities there had wanted the launch of the promenade to be part of the stadium opening festivities, but this would only be in 2009.  Igolide Footprints wanted to get up and running already by 2008 and Cape Town was prepared to accommodate this.

Mr Linden said that Igolide wished to provide as much national and international exposure as possible. They had therefore aimed at the areas with the most tourist traffic.  Cape Town and Durban were the focal areas.  Johannesburg was the biggest football city, but Igolide considered that in going to the tourist cities, this would give more exposure.

He agreed that the 2010 movers had to be acknowledged.  The selection panel needed to be open-minded, and they were open to suggestions.  He agreed that there should be some female representation on the panel.  Women were playing a growing role in the sport, both as players and behind the scenes.  Perhaps there should be a woman on the panel, and it would be confirmed who this might be.

Mr Linden said that clinics had been held at events such as the recent Bayhill tournament.  There had been a team from Germany who had done training in the townships.  This had to happen in accordance with SAFA structures.  Referees’ workshops would also be held to upgrade referees.  They played a make or break role in the sport, and had to be up to standard.  He was working with young referees.  The programme presented to the Committee was a microcosm.  The academies were critical to the sport, but were not a critical aspect of the work of Igolide Footprints.  Their objective was more to honour the greats.

Mr Freel said that this was a seed that it was hoped would grow into a much bigger event.  They had decided to come to the Committee for their thoughts and endorsement.  A structure had been put together.  The document presented was a concept document and not a finite plan.  There should be no bias in gender, race or any other field.  The panel would have professional skill and knowledge.  The concept needed to grow so that money could go where it was needed in the development centres.  The focus would stay where it was already as Igolide did not want to thin it out any more.  Local communities would benefit from the funds achieved.  If there was international recognition there would provide the best opportunities for growth.

He said that one aspect of motivation was that young people could learn from the past by remembering past heroes.  Durban and Cape Town had both been addressed.  Cape Town had made the more positive offer.  It was also Mr Mdlalose’s home town.  Cape Town was the gateway to Africa, but no doors were closed.  Igolide Footprints had to move on to keep its momentum.  Durban was a viable venue notwithstanding the decision to use Cape Town at first. The legends would be honoured.  Community based issues would follow.  More history was needed behind the event.

Mr B Solo (ANC) felt this was a very good idea, but had three questions.  Firstly, he asked what was the nature of the progress with Cape Town.  Secondly, a host of events had been listed.  He asked if this was a once-off event or if there was a programme throughout the year.  Finally, he expressed a concern that there must be broad honouring of heroes.  Many were forgotten.

Ms Ntuli said appropriate work was being done.  Her concern was that if a young child was taught to do something at an early age, then he or she would always do so. She expressed some pride in this initiative. The previously marginalised and disadvantaged had to be remembered.  There were townships in Cape Town, but they were not as disadvantaged as those in other areas.  There was a need to address outstanding issues, and ensure that nobody was left behind. She noted that there were volunteers on the board of Igolide Footprints, and that was a good start.  Fine tuning was still needed.  It was not only the panel that mattered,  but this extended to the Board of volunteers.  There were many women who loved sport who were dedicated sportspeople themselves.  She agreed that it would be wonderful to have one or two women honoured.

Mr Bhoola said that the views would be considered.  Cape Town had been given the exclusive right to the promenade, and this was an area of concern.

The Chairperson said that the concept was in line with the legacy programme.  The initiative was welcome.  The Minister was a proponent of the idea of honouring past players.  He would be happy to receive the Igolide delegation.  The issue of former players had to be addressed.  The recreation component of the Committee’s work had to be remembered.  Veterans would provide entertainment.  There had been a programme amongst street children.  This had been started as a form of recreation, but the children had been exposed to competitive sport in the process.  This concept was correct.  He asked the Minister’s Parliamentary Liaison Officer to inform the Minister.  They should make an appointment with the Director General and the Minister, who could assist them with funding.

He said this was not the first such concept.  Some former Bafana Bafana players had teamed up with Naas Botha and others to start the Hall of Fame, which had been inducting nominees for the last three years.  Freedom Park had been established as a venue to honour the memory of heroes from across the spectrum of South African life.  This included those who had been prominent in politics and in sport.  It played an important role.  There had been discussions with Dr W Serote, and a certain format had been reached.  Igolide needed to do some more work.

The Chairperson said the previous concept had been presented, but concerns had been expressed that some objectives did not meet what was wanted.  The Committee appreciated those concerns.  The Hall of Fame could not only be in Knysna, and after consultation with the Committee, they had agreed to establish replicas in all nine provinces.  The principal venue was built in Knysna. 

He said that part of the concept was a linkage with the Tourism, Hospitality and Education Training Authority (Theta).  There was a lot of unused money that could be used for coaching and development.  It would be better if it was used now.  Skills development programmes were linked to academies.  Academies were mushrooming all over the country, and the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) was trying to harmonise the process.  Standards varied.  A set standard must apply.  The pattern of late was that there was an exodus of people to the High Performance Centre or to Potchefstroom.  The challenge for SRSA was to standardise academies to curb this trend.

The Chairperson said that the Hall of Fame already existed, and there should not be any duplication.  The concept was that former players would be involved with the Promenade.  He asked if any leadership programmes were aligned to the proposal, especially involving former players.  They often had nothing to live on.  Footballers of that generation should tell the story of the legends.  This would create some employment.

He said that there was a complete distortion in the perception of sport.  In his book, Prof A Odendaal wrote about black cricketers from as early as 1805, yet some people said this was not true.

He asked why approval was needed from SAFA.  The Committee could not forbid Igolide from proceeding with their plans.  It was a sensitive issue, and he asked if it was in line with the law.  They would be presenting a facet of the history of sport in South Africa.

The Chairperson agreed that Cape Town should not have the exclusive rights to the Promenade.  This was a monopoly and in the past certain deliberate monopolies had been broken.  The sports awards had always been held in Gauteng, but the Member of the Executive for Sport in the Free State had managed to get this event moved to the Free State, where it had been held for the last three years.  Nobody could be upfront about the concept of the Promenade if they did not understand it.  If it was understood, then all could tender to be a part of the process.  He asked what the role of the panel would be.  They could not be the sole custodians of the sport.  The panel was perhaps elevated too much.

Mr Linden replied that the panel would put forward a number of candidates.  The public would then have the opportunity to vote for the eventual winners.

The Chairperson said that the Hall of Fame had used the sports federations to be their advisors.  These were independent entities.  People had to remember what their duty was.  South Africa would have won the 2006 World Cup had Mr Dempsey not reneged on his responsibility.  Government had not been informed about the bid at first, but was requested to support it.  In France and Germany, the football bodies had a great deal of money at their disposal.  The 2010 World Cup could never have been hosted in South Africa if the government had not financed the venues.  It would be dangerous to say that there must be no government involvement.  SAFA was contributing 2% of the funding and government 98%.  No African country could achieve anything in sport without government support.  There were twelve government guarantees in place for the World Cup.

Mr Linden agreed totally.  He understood the role of government.

The Chairperson said these concerns were preliminary concerns only, and would not be the end of the process. He encouraged the delegation to visit the Committee again, but stressed that there should be no duplication of efforts. 

He asked Mr Linden if he had ever been in charge of a match between white teams where the crowd had called for a black referee.  It often happened in soccer that whites were in charge of black teams as coaches or administrators.

Mr Linden replied that football was a game for all.  It was his lifelong passion.  He had been honoured to serve on the Premier Soccer League’s Referees panel.  At some venues he had trusted the Lord to look after him.  He had come from England, and was not affiliated to any club.  At times he had to be brave and own up to making a mistake.

The Chairperson urged the Igolide Footprints board to meet with the Hall of Fame directors, and then revert back to the Committee.

The meeting was adjourned.


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