Cape Town - The South African Football Association (SAFA) and La Liga, on Tuesday held a press conference to reiterate their cooperation agreement which will help boost the development of the game in South Africa.
SAFA President, Danny Jordaan and Antonio Barradas, the Director of La Liga’s Africa office presided over the proceedings.
SAFA and La Liga signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will see the collaboration of the two institutions in a number of initiatives meant to boost the growth of the sport in the country. The agreement was signed by Jordaan and La Liga President, Javier Tebas.
The partnership aims to bring Spanish football closer to fans especially in the ever growing African audience.
Part of the MOU provides an opportunity for SAFA to send promising young South African players to Spain to train with La Liga clubs, allowing them to showcase their skills.
In order to mark this momentous occasion and kick off the relationship, La Liga has donated 2000 soccer balls to SAFA which they have committed to distribute to rural areas focusing on schools and some remote regions.
La Liga will also bring certified coaches to train local coaches as part of SAFA’s drive towards achieving their Vision 2022 goals. The coaches will specifically focus on schools, rural areas, women and grassroots football.
Further, the two football bodies will also cooperate closely in developing women’s football, an area SAFA has identified as requiring special attention.
“Women’s football development is a special area which needs special dedication in SAFA realising Vision 2022. It is within women’s football where we have identified massive potential for growth. We are glad that this is one of several areas where SAFA and La Liga will work hand in hand,” said Jordaan as quoted by the official SAFA website.
Women’s football is one of the areas that La Liga is currently working on and is firmly committed to developing the ladies’ game and promoting its professionalisation throughout Spain and will provide a helping hand in SAFA’s efforts.
Jordaan also commended La Liga for providing trainers who will help coaches in schools and rural areas adding that the association needs partners like these to take football to the next level.
“We are grateful to have such a partner as football development is a massive responsibility which requires interested stakeholders to work together. There is also an opportunity for future stars to perfect their skills with some of the best teams in Spain.”
Antonio Barradas, Director for La Liga in Africa, mentioned that this collaboration with SAFA is part of La Liga’s strategy to assist stakeholders that recognize the importance of developing football, but also inherently understand the positive impact that the sport can provide in society.
“We are delighted to be partnering with SAFA and are very impressed with their goals for Vision 2022. We can only hope that this collaboration will ultimately benefit the football community in South Africa,” said Barradas.