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2010 World Cup legacy
February/March 2011

2010 World Cup legacy

So much promise

Leaving a legacy was one of the main themes of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We often heard of initiatives that were supposed to leave a lasting legacy for soccer and development in Africa: there was the 20 Football for Hope Centres, the Win in Africa with Africa initiative, the The 2010 My School Adventure, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust, to name a few. What did the promises do to grow soccer participation in SA?

For soccer development in Africa, the 2010 FIFA World Cup period was a time of promise ... and promises. During the four years leading up to, and including the World Cup, “lasting legacy” and a “tangible social legacy” through “promoting public health, education and football in disadvantaged communities” became a refrain at every FIFA press conference.

During this period, several admirable initiatives were announced, among them:

  • 20 Football for Hope Centres were to be built across Africa by 2010 where health, education and soccer would be promoted in disadvantaged communities. Each of the 20 centres are to be run by an existing community organisation with a proven track record. In SA, the educational emphasis would be on HIV. When it became obvious that the deadline of 2010 was going to be missed (only one centre, in Khayelitsha, was built before the World Cup), Henry Nasale, FIFA’s director of the 20 Centres for 2010 project, told a media briefing that the 20 centres would definitely be completed by 2012. So far, four centres have been built — the one in Khayelitsha, and one each in Kenya, Namibia and Mali. Three more are under construction — in Lesotho, Ghana and Rwanda — and the construction of two more in SA has been announced. WhizzKids United will host one in Edendale, KwaZulu Natal, and LoveLife will host one in QwaQwa in the Free State.

  • The Win in Africa with Africa project launched in 2006, was an undertaking by FIFA that all 52 African member countries — with the exception of South Africa — will receive an artificial pitch of international standard by the end of the first quarter of 2008. By 2009 thirty were completed. FIFA further undertook to train staff (across Africa, including South Africa) in maintenance of the turfs. The SA Organising Committee (OC) followed suit and announced that an artificial pitch, including clubhouse and other facilities, will be built in each of the 52 SAFA regions — later amended to three per province, 27 in total. The National Lottery allocated R81-m for the project, with the first sod for the first pitch turned during a February 2010 ceremony in the Mogwase Region just outside Sun City near Rustenburg.

  • The My 2010 Schools Adventure campaign, a partnership between the OC and the Departments of Education, Sports and Recreation and Arts and Culture, aimed to create World Cup awareness amongst 12-m learners and educators in schools countrywide and promote soccer participation. Ten thousand school teams (boys, girls, able and disabled) across the country participated in knockout rounds for the Schools Football World Cup and Confederations Cup.

  • At the end of last year FIFA launched the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust worth R700-m, of which R560-m must be allocated directly to social community projects. The Legacy Trust will support a wide range of public benefit initiatives in the areas of football development, education, health and humanitarian activities in SA, it was announced at the launch of the trust in December last year.

  • SAFA Development

    In addition to the R700-m for the Legacy Trust, FIFA gives SAFA (and other members) R1.8-m each year for football development and running costs. Thanks to the financial success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, FIFA early this year gave each member nation an additional R2-m as a share of the profits.

    SAFA therefore should have some money left, even after the bonuses were paid, for development of soccer as grassroots level. What have they been doing so far?

    After Bafana Bafana became the first host country in 80 years to be knocked out in the first round of a FIFA World Cup, SAFA promised to revolutionise grassroots soccer, starting from school level. Many officials told the media what they believed should be done to build a solid soccer foundation: improved facilities at school level, improved coaching at school level, well-organised league structures and academies for potential Bafana stars.

    When the national U17 and U20 sides failed to qualify for their African and World Youth championships — and even failed to qualify for the U20 Cosafa Cup, which we have dominated for the past five years — the alarm bells rang loader.

    It was obvious, there is a serious need for grassroots soccer development.

    Grassroots Football Programme

    The SAFA Grassroots Football Program (GFP) might have had a slow, inconspicuous start, but at least there was a lift-off, and more than 5 000 children between the ages of six and twelve learned the basic skills of the beautiful game from 238 coach educators during 2010, reports FANIE HEYNS.

    Before the World Cup kicked off on June 11 2010, the GFP, which targets boys and girls through, schools, clubs and community initiatives, had been launched in two provinces. By January this year, SAFA had trained 172 coaches in seven provinces, and 5 200 children had participated in the programme.

    Serame Letsoaka, SAFA technical director, said SAFA was visited by FIFA grassroots experts to convey the basic knowledge of how to teach soccer to the children and the social skills to SA coach educators. The coach educators receive training from a German coach, Michael Nees, in Gauteng. Training courses from apprenticeship-stages until level two, are run by Nees, a former national coach of the Seychelles.

    SAFA gave the mandate to the regional structures to host GFP workshops and festivals.

    One example of a successful regional hosting of a GFP, was in September in Bloemfontein, where a total of ten schools from the Free State as well as nine football clubs came together for the grassroots festival held at the Central University of Technology (CUT). All in all there were 746 children between the ages of six and twelve being taught various basics in football, including heading, trapping, passing and kicking.

    But, as several experts have pointed out, soccer at school level has to be strengthened if talent is to be developed and groomed for the national squads.

    School soccer

    Schools soccer is under siege and development needs to be revived, Letsoaka recently acknowledged. "We have built the walls of a house in the past without laying any foundation. We have forgotten about the grassroots," he told

    He therefore welcomed the R40-m cash injection by FNB to develop grassroots soccer in a three-year legacy program. The biggest chunk, R18-m had been allocated to the national U17 boys' (Amajimbos) and girls' (Bantwana) teams, which FNB had been sponsoring for a number of years, but they will also revive competitions at school level.

    The FNB Festivals are expected to become a highlight on the school sport calendars and will consist of nationwide soccer school festivals involving invited African teams, and a soccer clashes program similar to the popular, televised rugby classic clashes. A total of 162 schools will participate in the inaugural event in 2011, after which it will become an annual fixture.

    "We have to develop players starting from the six-year-olds for future professional clubs and for future national teams," says Letsoaka. He believes that, although the road ahead would be tough, the sponsorship will go a long way in helping to solve the problem.

    Private initiatives

    The World Cup also sparked numerous private initiatives, among them:

  • As part of the FNB 2010 Artificial Pitch Legacy Programme, the bank contributed R15-m towards the building of five artificial pitches — four completed — in disadvantaged communities. They helped the George municipality to build a pitch in Lawaaikamp, and also contributed to the construction of artificial pitches in the Edendale township in Pietermaritzburg, Ngangelizwe township of Mthatha and Makwarela Stadium in the Thohoyandou Municipality. These artificial pitches were built to be used by school children and football clubs, as a platform to soccer development.

  • The Dreamfields Project, the brainchild of radio journalist John Perlman, raised funds to upgrade existing sports facilities in townships and rural areas, and to build new fields in at least 32 regional soccer centres by the end of 2010. They also supplied "Dream Bags”, each containing 11 footballs and 15 full sets of kit to disadvantaged communities, as a grassroots soccer development programme. They also provided coaching and sports management skills to communities.

  • The Football Foundation of SA, a NGO, was founded by Sir Dave Richards, Chairman of the English Premier League, to promote soccer and to help with community upliftment. It is funded by the Premier League.

  • A kick for soccer retailers

    What kind of legacy did the World Cup leave for the soccer retail industry? Have the development promises resulted in a bigger soccer consumer base, and thus more sales? FANIE HEYNS asked some industry members

    Has the hype surrounding the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the massive media-campaign, played a pivotal role in growing the game amongst potential buyers of soccer equipment? And does it translate into improved sales figures for retailers?

    Several years ago, when it was announced that SA would host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Sport & Recreation SA and the Department of Sport in the Free State joined hands to market sport at schools and in rural areas, says Anton Klopper, director of Kloppers in Bloemfontein.

    They also invested capital in school sport, and most of the funds were directed at soccer development. Some money was used for soccer kits and equipment. This initiative gained momentum before, and during, the World Cup.

    Since the World Cup, there has been definite growth in the soccer retail market, says Klopper. “The growth can be attributed to the aggressive TV-marketing of the FIFA World Cup, as well as the event itself. It caused a soccer boom, but one should remember that there was a process initiated long before the event.”

    There was, for example, an agricultural initiative in the Free State, where farmers invested capital in developing the game on their farms and used soccer as a vehicle for team building exercises, he says. The farmers purchased soccer clothing for their workers.

    Comparative figures for 2009 and 2010 show that Kloppers experienced no growth in the sale of soccer boots, but the sale of soccer kits increased by 100% and the sale of soccer balls by 400%. In general, their soccer sales improved by 80% from 2009-2010.

    There was little numerical growth in soccer participation in the schools and club market until the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, says Mike Augoustides, director of Mikes Sports in Cape Town. The growth since then has been due to the heightened awareness created by newspapers, TV and radio.

    The World Cup and related exposure was the pivotal factor in marketing soccer awareness, he believes. “The government and the SA Football Association (SAFA) still need to do a lot more to promote the sport, especially in the predominantly cricket and rugby type schools,” he adds.

    Asked whether the heightened awareness resulted in improved sales, Augoustides said there was a slight improvement. “But we will have a better indication during the course of this year. The biggest increase has been through the corporate sectors who want to be associated with soccer. Hopefully this will filter through to the schools as well.”

    There is no empirical proof to support the view that football support has increased in schools and clubs, says Fernando Ventura, marketing director of Foschini Sports (TotalSports, Sports Scene, Due South).

    But there was clearly a positive sentiment created over the Soccer World Cup period and many youngsters are participating for the first time, he says.

    Vimal Lalla, director of American Man in Pretoria, has a different take on the reason for growth: he believes the numerical growth in soccer participation in schools is due to the growing number of children attending schools. The club market has remained stable and static.

    “To my knowledge, The SAFA development program may be active in our area but this has not necessarily lead to an increase in sales in our company.”

    “While I do feel that SAFA is doing an excellent job with their development program, the main reason for the growth is due to the World Cup that we hosted,” says Lambros Koutsoudis of Footballer and Sports in Port Elizabeth.

    The biggest growth in the soccer market was in the year prior to, and during, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, due to the hype and extra interest created by hosting the event in SA, he found.

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