Guard trust jealously
THE game of football, we have been made to believe, is run by the mafia.
Whether this is just a perception or not, we have learnt to be circumspect every time some soccer officials or federations make promises. History has taught us to be careful.
It is in this context that some of us always develop cold feet when football officials make promises no matter how serious they appear to be.
We had already resigned ourselves to the establishment of a multi-million 2010 World Cup legacy fund when Fifa, the global football governing body, put it in place on Wednesday.
The R450-million in the legacy trust comes from the profits of the Fifa World Cup South Africa hosted in 2010.
The tournament turned out to be the most successful since the competition was first staged in Uruguay in 1930.
The South African Football Association (Safa) will now start the process of disbursing the loot, which we hope will benefit rightful beneficiaries.
It will defeat the objectives of bringing the World Cup to our shores if the money doesn't benefit those it was meant for.
Fifa says the money is designed to support a wide range of public initiatives, including, in the main, football development.
Safa must ensure that officials with a history of mismanagement of funds are kept far away from the money.
It will be embarrassing to one day read stories about officials helping themselves to the cookies in the jar.
The money is for a good cause and everybody at Safa should jealously guard it.
We hope those entrusted with the running of the trust will handle the account well and ensure that the money benefits those who deserve it.
We are happy that Safa officials have declared its commitment to ensuring that the funds benefit football at grassroots level.
Safa president Kirsten Nematandani declared for all to hear that "from today we can look forward to the fruits of 2010 being enjoyed at grassroots level by communities across South Africa".
These are encouraging words indeed and they must have sounded like sweet music to Safa regions.
Let all stakeholders work together to implement the vision of Fifa. We worked hard as a nation to deliver a memorable World Cup and proved to the Doubting Thomases that Africa too can host a world-class tournament.
We surely can make a success of the World Cup legacy trust fund.