Bafana Bafana

Radebe on improving soccer in SA schools: It's all about the money

2019-08-29 08:30
Lucas Radebe
Lucas Radebe (Twitter)

Cape Town - South African football legend Lucas Radebe believes getting school soccer on par with school rugby in the country will require a huge monetary investment.

MUST READ: Radebe doesn't blame top SA coaches for dodging Bafana job

The gap between the two sporting codes at school level is currently poles apart in terms of development and infrastructure.

Speaking to Sport24, the former Bafana Bafana captain said the structures in place at school level needs to be rethought as school rugby births new stars every year whereas school soccer is in dire need of a revamp.

Radebe advocates that ex-players should be entrusted with making a difference in school soccer provided the South African Football Association (SAFA) lends a helping hand.

"Football starts in the schools, in the townships, not everybody wants to coach at the highest level or wants to be involved at that level," the 50-year-old said.

"There are a lot of issues that discredit our footballers when it comes to retirement after having played a big role.

"We had an opportunity when we hosted the World Cup (2010), the AFCON (1996 and 2013) to contribute and develop ex-players in different parts of football.

"There is a legacy and again, why don't they (SAFA) give them that opportunity to give back into football?

"If we can put mechanisms in place where we can have players develop... SAFA has a lot to do with that in terms of putting in place the structures that can accommodate ex-players."

Playing in the United Kingdom after his fair share of matches for Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs, the former Leeds United defender is not too concerned about the talent that South Africa has on offer.

He's aware that with enough attention and investment from South Africa's football body, it would allow kids to flourish in the sport and change the lives of their families as the majority of the soccer talent comes from underprivileged areas.

"It's all about the money. We've got to put money aside. To get the structure right. We need to change the administration," said Radebe.

"What happens to our schools? Especially in the townships where you find good players.

"Black schools, those underprivileged schools - deep down in certain areas (in South Africa) - it's not only about playing football but improving the lives of those people.

"As (Nelson) Mandela said, "sport has the power to change the world" which I think in that we have failed."

 

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