PSL to revolutionise SA soccer

2010-05-10 16:53

Johannesburg - The Premier Soccer League plans to revolutionise soccer development in South Africa and are willing to put R70m into a new-look National First Division.

As from next season, all NFD clubs have agreed to play a minimum of five South Africa born under-23 players in each and every league and cup match.

This was one of the far reaching decisions taken by the 16 NFD clubs at a special general meeting in Johannesburg at the weekend.

The other big decision was to revert the NFD to a 16-team one stream league and doing away with the cumbersome and unattractive two streams that has failed to bring in sponsors.

It was also agreed that only three foreign players would be allowed to be signed per club in future. In the past clubs could sign five foreign players.

The PSL have also come to the party. In the event the league failing to find a sponsor for the new NFD, which will cost about R70 million to run per season, the league have agreed to foot the entire bill.

In an interview with Sapa, PSL CEO Kjetil Siem outlined the PSL’s plans and said it was the biggest step forward in South Africa soccer development ever.

"We believe the new format of a one stream league - the same as the Premiership - will be attractive to sponsors, but should we fail to find a sponsor, then the PSL will put the money up and pay all the costs for the NFD which will amount to about R70 million for the coming season.”

Siem said the ground breaking decision to field a minimum five SA born under-23 players was taken unanimously by the clubs. This means that the NFD will become a nursery for both the SA under-23 side and Bafana Bafana.

“We had employed a sub-committee to deal with a new-look NFD and it was the clubs who wanted this new innovation. It is massive step in the right direction of developing South African talent.

“The bottom line is clubs will need to sign up between eight and 10 youngsters per season to comply with the new rules as players get injured or suspended.

That means we will have between 150 and 160 under-23 professional players in the NFD and that can only be good for SA soccer.

“This is the biggest boost for youth development anywhere and is shows that our clubs are looking to the future.

"This will also benefit our Olympic side and it will filter to Bafana Bafana level and hopefully will see the start of a national under-19 league in the not too distant future.”

Siem added that for too long many old players, especially foreigners past their sell by date from the PSL, had seen the NFD as their final resting place.

“That will not be the case anymore. Clubs will now have to sign young promising players instead of players at the end of the careers and by cutting the foreign quota, we are further encouraging clubs to sign local players,” said Siem.

From being number one country in Africa after winning the African Nations Cup in 1996 and breaking into the Fifa top 20 in the world rakings that year, Bafana are finding themselves 90th in the world a month before the kick-off of the World Cup on home soil.

This new move is too late to help Bafana beat the best in the world in June, but at least the future generations of national players will now get a fighting chance.

The other good news the new SA Football Association leadership have now embraced their youth legacy programme and combined with the PSL’s bold step, SA soccer could be in good hands in the future.

It was also agreed that the team winning the NFD at the end of 2011, will be automatically promoted to the Premiership while the teams finishing second, third and fourth, will go into a promotion/relegation playoff with the team finishing 15th in the 16-team Premiership.


  • The Voice of Reason - 2010-05-10 17:22

    This is great news. I can't wait to see the new and better run NFD. For too long it has been a black whole that former PSL teams can not come back from. Hopefully now teams will be able to survive their drop to the NFD. I can only hope that sponsers come on board, and that the teams get more money, the R 100 000 per month at the moment is nothing. Hopefully Bay United are still playing in the 2010/11 season.

  • sandile - 2010-05-10 17:33

    This is fantastic news!!! Hopefully, it is not just I also hope, the reduction in foreign quotas and the same youth policy can be implemented in the PSL. It's time to raise the standard of football in Mzansi.

  • Zk - 2010-05-10 17:36

    Brilliant, a definite step in the right direction.

  • Steve - 2010-05-10 18:43

    One thing that everyone has forgotten. Improve the average IQ of each team, and you have made great strides, or is this asking too much?

  • thanduxolo - 2010-05-10 19:04

    it about time that south african soccer bosses did something that is positive and beneficial for the south african soccer.

  • Faruq Bello - 2010-05-10 19:10

    Rugby has U-19 league and Soccer must not delay this league if SA is to be competitive again in Africa Cup of Nations or Africa Champions League. "This will also benefit our Olympic side and it will filter to Bafana Bafana level and hopefully will see the start of a national under-19 league in the not too distant future.” Not too ditant future = Noting is gonna happen

  • erewhon - 2010-05-10 19:49

    Be careful where the money is spent. There is sufficient at the top and no where near enough at the bottom for facilities-fields, changing rooms,kit and other equipment, coaches. With the number of people playing soccer in S.A. the standard is abysmal. Sort it out from the bottom!!

  • Jerry Koti - 2010-05-10 19:52

    A very good decision of reducing foreign players in our yard.I also like you to improve on microphones used by referee so that the board can be able to hear what a player has said to a referee as this has resulted in many red cards being given without maybe good reasons.

  • mrozorozo - 2010-05-10 20:02

    what about getting rid of play oo system? it si just boring and a waste of good money. two down two up, simple as that.

  • Aki - 2010-05-10 20:25

    A few months back I suggested the same thing. The only difference is that I said the under 23 development should be done also at psl level. On top of that each club should be allowed to register say 33 or 30 players per season.

  • PR - 2010-05-11 08:54

    23 its too old, any player who has not found his feet at this age will only turn to be average, may age 20, look at all super stars like Messi, Roony, by 17 they were already showing something special. I think PSL must go further to say foreign players must have represented their counties certain number of games recently. Its a disgrace to register no name brands from every corner of our continent denying sons of the soil an opportunity. I also think foreigners should remain at least four.

  • diski - 2010-05-11 09:01

    Overall great idea! But i dont understand why you'd insist in keeping the play off system becoz the would be no greater motivation for the youngsters to perform in their league than instant promotion instead of giving under-performing psl teams another chance to sneak their way back into the league again and milk it for another season. So maybe the bottom 2 of the premier league get kicked out and the top 2 from the NFD get promoted in as a reward for their efforts?!?!?

  • Lolo - 2010-05-11 09:20

    fantastic. i am in support of the establishment of the under 19 league. This will help with the development of players.

  • Dubai Bok - 2010-05-11 09:29

    When will South Africans realise that development needs to be done at U/19 level and lower. A talented footballer identified at the age of 23 is just to late! In any other country, players are established at the age of 23. A second issue: this system will just lead to more ID fraud in the league. Pleayers will be 23 even though they actually 30. Those who knows the history of SA football will know exactly what I am talking about. And of course several foreign players will obtain SA citizenship through "dodgy" means. I love SA football but this is not the answer to our development problems...we need U/19 foortball structures (Reserve league perhaps) to be boosted.

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