Safa and PSL aboard for 2010

Tamara O’Reilly

Two giants of South African soccer have signed a memorandum of understanding with the 2010 Local Organising Committee to ensure the success of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The agreement will see the national football governing body, the South African Football Association (Safa), and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) collaborating with the LOC on issues that affect the event such as media and marketing, security, match organisation, events management, protocol, accreditation, transport and logistics, and volunteer recruitment and deployment.

According to Fifa, the memorandum outlines co-operation between the bodies to ensure Safa and PSL personnel have maximum exposure to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, as well as the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2009. For the two sporting bodies, the main aim is to ensure that there is a transfer of knowledge and skills between them and the LOC so that once the tournament is over, the knowledge gained can be used to enhance the game locally.

“We want to use the Fifa World Cup as a tool to build skills for the PSL which will help in the running of professional football after the games,” reiterated Kjetl Siem, the CEO of the PSL. “This is a dream come true for the PSL. We respect the role of the LOC 100 percent but we will use this opportunity for the benefit of our future.”

Raymond Hack, CEO of Safa, said co-operation from their side was aimed at ensuring the event goes off without a hitch and to create a football event that the country can be proud of. “You will not find more passion anywhere in the world. We all have the same goal which is to make sure that South Africa delivers the best Fifa World Cup ever.”

One of the first issues the PSL, Safa and the LOC will collaborate on is pitch management. The LOC will look at including the two bodies on a proposed pitch monitoring committee to ensure consistency in the quality of pitches at all stadiums being used for the tournament.

Already the PSL is training its media personnel as venue media officers who will handle queries at each of the stadiums during the Fifa Confederations Cup in June next year. This tournament is held every four years and the title is contested by winners of the various Fifa tournaments held worldwide, like the African Cup of Nations and the European Championship.

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