Soccer

SAFA to go learn at AFCON

2012-01-18 17:52
Mandla Mazibuko (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The SA Football Association (SAFA) will send an observer team to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) this week in preparation for the 2013 tournament which will be hosted by South Africa.

SAFA said in a statement on Wednesday that the 10-member delegation would leave on Friday for the continental competition in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

"The delegation, comprising top national executive committee members, will be headed by SAFA vice-president Mandla 'Shoes' Mazibuko," the soccer body said.

Mazibuko said SAFA could not rely on what it had learned by hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and would need to study new operation models.

"We are going there as observers and we intend to fully utilise any new trend we will have learnt there," Mazibuko said.

"We hosted the best World Cup ever but in modern football you learn new trends almost every day.

"As 2013 hosts, we want to go through the homework so that we are not found wanting when we welcome the rest of the continent next year."

Some of the areas the delegation would focus on included the opening ceremony, crowd control, ticketing, accreditation and the general management of the tournament.

"We will also meet the hosts' organising committee and exchange notes," Mazibuko said.

SAFA said its president, Kirsten Nematandani, the chairman of the 2013 AFCON organising committee, was already in Equatorial Guinea and would be joined by vice-president Danny Jordaan on Friday.

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