Johannesburg - Safa president and CAF executive Danny Jordaan says work to turn Safa into a world-class organisation is under way. He also thanks Cosafa presidents for supporting his candidacy
Election into CAF executive
I am glad that I eventually made it into CAF on my third attempt. The changes in Cosafa [Council of Southern Africa Football Associations] were a huge catalyst.
The fact that 11 of the 14 associations are headed by new guys ushered in the needed change. Many people criticised me when I withdrew from the race to become Cosafa president. I did that because members told me that I can’t go for all [available] positions. They assured me [of their votes] if I withdrew, which led to Philip Chiyangwa [of Zimbabwe] standing unopposed.
I am glad that all Cosafa member presidents kept their word and voted for me to get into CAF. I received 35 votes – even more than the 34 received by Ahmad [Ahmad] when he defeated [then CAF president] Issa Hayatou.
Also important was Cosafa’s decision to support only sitting presidents for positions in CAF and Fifa.
Ahmad is currently in Cairo [CAF headquarters] to meet the staff. We will meet within days as the new executive to look at issues such as operations, competitions, finance and commercial matters.
South African Football Association (Safa)
When we [the current Safa leadership] won the elections in 2013, we vowed to turn Safa into a world-class organisation. We then came with a template called Vision 2022 [see graphic].
We are not there yet. We have, however, come some way in invigorating our junior teams from Under-13 to Under-23.
We now have junior players who have already played at global events, and some of them have even graduated to Bafana Bafana. The original thinking was that you cannot have a good senior national team without strong junior national teams.
One of our biggest challenges now is women’s football, which will be part of our workshop in Durban [the workshop was on Saturday, ahead of Bafana Bafana’s match against Guinea Bissau].
Currently, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic are the only two Premier Soccer League [PSL] clubs that have women’s teams.
One of the ideas is to approach the PSL and ask if all their 16 clubs could form – or even adopt – existing women’s clubs to form a national league.
In 2013, we found that coaching was a huge challenge. While in major football-playing countries, the ratio was one coach to 20 kids, here we had a ratio of one to 200.
There is no way that a teacher can effectively teach a class of 200 kids. We need to have at least 150 000 qualified junior coaches. We currently have about 20 000, and we are training a further 5 300 this year.
Refereeing in this country has always been viewed as something for retired soccer players or for those who cannot play.
We are now changing that and I am glad that we have a number of young up-and-coming referees.
In our workshop, we will also discuss the reconstruction of our structure.
We are now a big organisation as we have added a few components, namely the Legacy Trust, a national training centre and the Safa Development Agency.
As a result of these developments, we need a chief operating officer and a group financial officer, as well as a few more highly skilled and professional staff.
With Safa House and the national technical centre soon to get 11 fields when complete, we are now an R800 million business.
The goal is to build Safa into at least a R2bn business, but more hard work must still be done.
There might still be a chance to get into Fifa as there is now a vacancy for an African candidate. However, I will get direction from Cosafa and CAF if I can stand.