WORLD soccer governing body Fifa plans to put more emphasis on attending to the health and welfare of young African players as part of the 2010 World Cup's legacy projects.
This was announced by Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, in an address to international delegates at the opening of the Football for Hope Forum in Vanderbjilpark yesterday.
This follows research done on the players who participated in Africa's Under-17 championships in Algeria in March.
Eight countries took part in the tournament. Gambia successfully defended their title by beating Algeria 3-1 in the final.
"During the preliminary rounds of the African competition, the Algerian Football Association, CAF and Fifa health programmes did research on health matters," Blatter said.
"We found that 60percent of the players from Africa have never seen a medical doctor, which is a cause for concern for Fifa.
"Now we have to put more emphasis on health."
The Fifa president once again expressed confidence that South Africa and the entire continent will not disappoint by hosting a great 2010 World Cup.
"It will be a good World Cup, we are working together."
Blatter said he could not understand why rich Western countries were questioning South Africa's ability to host a successful World Cup.
He said Fifa had never doubted South Africa, hence they awarded the bid to the African continent for the first time.