Soccer challenge for business

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Pietersen AFP Safa's Robin Petersen has made an appeal to corporate South Africa to invest in development of soccer in the country. Photo: Stephane de Sakutin

Johannesburg – Without focus, sufficient funding and governance, the SA Football Association’s (Safa) South African youth development through the sport would not be possible, Robin Petersen said on Wednesday.

Petersen, Safa’s development agency chief executive, urged corporate South Africa to invest in development of soccer in the country.

“It’s is our vision to create a platform where knowledge and insight can be shared,” Petersen said at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg.

“We are not looking for funding, we are looking for partners. Today is significant for the organisation because we have chosen to showcase working partnerships in the space of football development.”

Joining Petersen on a podium discussion was the One World Futbol Project, a non-profit organisation who donated 50,000 indestructible soccer balls to Safa, to be distributed across the country.

The balls, designed to withstand rough terrain, harsh conditions and need no pumping, will be distributed to schools and communities in need and will aid in greater participation and involvement, Petersen said.

“At the heart of what we are trying to achieve is building our nation,” Petersen said.

“If we reflect on what was achieved during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, this can be our future.

“We need to build a national team that has a chance to succeed during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.” – Sapa

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