World Cup legacy lives on
The 2010 FIFA World Cup will forever be remembered as one of the greatest achievements of post-apartheid South Africa.
One remembers the time when the broadest of smiles were plastered on the faces of every South African. Fans of all shapes and sizes draped the flag over their shoulders; some had headscarves, others donned oversized plastic glasses. This excitement gave birth to an amazing sense of unity that tore through the country. Who would have guessed this was a country once hinged on racial divide?
And when the country marks its 20 years of freedom and democracy next year, the nation will once again unite to celebrate one of its biggest achievements, writes Nthambeleni Gabara.
The global sporting event which took place from 11 June to 11 July 2010 will forever be etched on the minds of many across the country. South Africans from all racial and ethnic groups banded together and sang shosholoza. Strangers hugged and celebrated when Simphiwe Tshabalala scored the tournament’s opening goal.
The wearing of the Bafana Bafana jersey on Football Fridays and the flying of the nation’s flag everywhere including on vehicles by patriotic South Africans laid a solid foundation for government to deepen social cohesion.
South Africans even changed the SABC’s tournament slogan “Feel it, it is here” to “Philip, he is here”.
When Bafana Bafana became the first host nation to be eliminated in the group stage of the tournament; the nation supported the Black Stars of Ghana, and nicknamed the team BaGhana BaGhana.
The world football governing body, FIFA, gave South Africa a near-perfect 9 out of 10 for successfully hosting the global event, which also sent a clear message to the world that the country, if not Africa, is capable of hosting a tournament of that magnitude.
2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust
After the tournament, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust was established by FIFA and the South African Football Association (Safa) to promote, extend the development and the reach of football in South Africa.
FIFA transferred R450 million into the Legacy Trust account in April 2012 and is being administered by international auditors Ernst and Young.
It also supports education and healthcare initiatives of non-governmental organisations that use football as a vehicle for community development as well as for humanitarian assistance for those in historically disadvantaged and impoverished communities.
SAnews recently met up with the trust’s general manager Greg Fredericks, to find out if “Phillip is indeed still here” and to find out how South Africans are benefitting from hosting Africa's first FIFA World Cup.
With a smile, the down-to-earth man who was part of the 2010 Local Organising Committee says: “We’ve already started to address the critical gaps in football development in all the provinces.
“The main objective of the fund is to ensure that there is quality development of football in South Africa,” he says.
Fredericks says funding secured from the National Lottery; has already ensured the completion of 27 of the 52 artificial football fields also known as football turfs with change rooms and ablution facilities.
“This is the most significant project that the Lotteries have funded with arguably the best value for money of all its grassroots development projects. This is one of the most tangible legacies of the World Cup.
“Looking at our climatic conditions, football turfs are ideal because they do not need water, very easy to maintain and they are resistant to harsh climatic conditions such as snow, drought or frost.
“We are currently looking for funds to do the next 25 facilities in the remaining Safa regions. We are also planning to do multi-purpose facilities for football, rugby, athletics, hockey and netball in partnership with the Sport and Recreation Department,” he says.
Fredericks explains that the National Lotteries has promised to come on board only if local municipalities can fund 50 percent of the costs.
He says Safa has received a cash injection of R17.5 million for the delivery of the under 13 and 15 leagues for both boys and girls in 311 local football associations and adds that the best players at the provincial levels will be selected to play at the national tournament at the end of the year.
“Safa also received R8.7 million for women football, where R5.7 million should be utilised in the Women’s regional league’s while R3 million will be used for the long term women’s development programme.”
A total of R150 000 has been allocated to each of the 53 Safa region’s for office equipment, training of coaches, referees and administration.
The 311 Safa local football association’s will each receive R10 000 for office equipment and a further R10 000 grant for administration.
Wits University has received R317 000 for the training of emergency medical personnel to perform duty at football matches.
A total of R4.2 million has been allocated for the 20 Centres for 2010, where five centres are in South Africa, while the remaining are in different African countries.
The aim of the centres is to achieve positive social change through football by building twenty Football for Hope Centres for public health, education and football across Africa. The centres will address local social challenges that young people face in disadvantaged areas by helping to improve education and public health services.
Fredericks says R210 000 has been put aside for the Centres for Education and Health programmes as part of community and youth development initiatives that use football as a vehicle for development.
He explains that Safa regions including local football associations, clubs and schools will receive bags containing kits, bags and training equipment to the value of R7 500 each. The first application process for funding was launched last June via the official website www.2010legacytrust.com.
In January this year, the board of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust led by Chairman Danny Jordaan, approved the first 973 beneficiaries for a total amount of R56 million.
According to Fredericks, the next application phase will commence on September 1 and close at the end of September.
“It will be for the financial year starting March 1, 2014 and the Board has decided to allocate R60 million, so applications will be online, but provision will also be made for hard copy applications.
SAFA Technical Master Plan
Fredericks explains that the trust is also built on seven streams of success which include developing and entrenching a uniform South African National Football Philosophy, building a rich and robust talent Identification & development Pipeline that starts at U13 at a Local Football Association (LFA) level.
The Master Plan seeks to transform football from the ground up over the next ten years and also does the following:
- Build and administer a comprehensive national Competitions Framework built on a foundation of licensed and developed clubs;
- Train and deploy sufficient coaches to create a 1:20 ratio of coach to players (150 000 coaches in ten years or 15 000 per annum);
- Upgrade Football Infrastructure and Administration at all levels;
- Identify and utilise the best technology at all levels; and
- Utilise the best researched and most up to date practice of Sports Science and medicine to ensure full development of players.
Fredericks explains that in the next 20 years South African football will flourish as the trust would have produced a massive pool of talented football stars.
“If we can continue to put our efforts together as a country, this can be a revolutionary project for football development in South Africa. I’m convinced that in the next 20 years, our national team will be in the top three and top 20 in the world rankings.”
He says the initiative has been warmly welcomed by the majority of young people.
“In all the areas where we’ve built the sporting facilities, we’ve seen a lot of excitement, passion, energy and enthusiasm, by young people.
“As we mark 20th anniversary for freedom and democracy next year, it will be important to celebrate the hosting of the FIFA World Cup, which has already started to change the lives of our people.”
Many pondered if an African country could make a success of the biggest sporting event in the world and even suggested that there should be a Plan B as they did not believe South Africa was capable of pulling off such a massive project.
According to FIFA, more than 3 million spectators attended the 64 matches of the tournament. This was the third highest aggregate attendance behind the 1994 FFA World Cup in the United States, US, and the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
This figure includes the millions of people who watched World Cup games at Fan Fests, fan parks and public viewing areas, across the country as well as in various cities around the world.
It has also been acknowledged that fan parks were so huge that they resembled mini-stadiums, something which did not happen in other host countries.
Public transport formed the backbone for the 2010 FIFA World Cup plans, and is one of the greatest successes of the tournament.
The World Cup legacy will ensure that by 2020 more than 85 percent of any city’s population live within a kilometre or closer to an integrated rapid public transport network feeder or corridor. The integrated transport infrastructure and networks will improve the lives of South Africans for many years to come. - SAnews.gov.za