The Motsepe Foundation believes that it’s high time that the South African Football Association (SAFA) aligns its football development programmes accordingly.
As the debate rages on about organized rugby development and its effective schools’ programme and how football is failing to follow suit, the biggest investor in schools’ football in the country is keen to partner with the football association.
The success of the Springboks at the recent Rugby World Cup, where they successfully defended their title and set a new record of four titles has put the spotlight on the ailing biggest sporting code in the country. Head of sports, music, and arts at the Motsepe Foundation Peter Ledwaba shares his views.
“We are in the under-19 and we are also doing the ABC Motsepe League with the South African Football Association. The hope is that you know, we need to sit together with the South African Football Association and see how we link this project and the ABC League, so that this league must fit into that league,” Ledwaba said.
The Foundation sponsors the Kay Motsepe Schools tournament at the U14 level for boys and girls and also boys U19, these programmes are run jointly by the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture, and SAFA.
They also fund the ABC Motsepe League under SAFA as well as the Motsepe Foundation Championship at the PSL. Ledwaba says all these programmes need to collaborate.
“The overall vision is to have a South African football system that is based on schools football. That you would have products of this programme going all over and playing for the national team and representing the national team. Having a background of education so that they are able to sustain themselves as football players, professionally or internationally,” he added.
They are also big on education something Ledwaba feels is not coming through properly in football. He makes reference to the recent national second-division play-offs played in KwaZulu-Natal where out of 207 players who were in action only seven were at school.
“So, that you don’t have two separate things, two seperate leagues. When you go to the ABC and when you take statistics you discover that almost 90% of players that play there are not at school. Whereas we have an under 19 tournament here that produces players who are in school and are supposed to be a feeder into that league,” he concluded.
(story credit: SABC Sport)