The time to bring about changes starts now

After the arguments and fighting between the broadcasters and Premier Soccer League representatives, the official programme of the league kicks off today with many more matches now going to be televised.

It appears everyone who is involved in the arrangement of the number of the games to be televised is happy with the "final" solution, even though other reports suggest there may be rumblings in football quarters about the commissions paid to the sponsorship committee of the league.

That the new contracts and agreements will help boost the coffers of the league and the clubs is a given.

What is not a given is the quality and competitiveness that should generate the kind of excitement that will attract new supporters to domestic football.

Besides causing so much controversy, the new sponsorship deal will also raise expectations on the part of football fans that the level of the game be raised accordingly. This, I believe, is a good thing given our preparations for the World Cup.

As everyone knows, the pressure is always on the team of the host nation to do better in the tournament to keep the hopes of the home fans alive to ensure their continued involvement in the World Cup.

I think it is reasonable for supporters of the various clubs to expect their favourite teams to appoint highly qualified coaches to improve the standards of the game overall.

The professional clubs themselves should also play a part in contributing to the success of the 2010 World Cup by setting targets of identifying and developing talent for the enjoyment of their supporters and the good of the game and to groom such talent to be part of the 2010 national team for the benefit of the country.

Imagine a national team that is representative of all PSL clubs and provinces in the country!

That will be the best testament that the money accruing to clubs from the new sponsorships is indeed being used to both grow the game and build our efforts for 2010.

The coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, can try as much as he can to groom a competitive side, but he would still need the supply of developed talent.

On the other hand, there are other matters that we, as local fans, should also start thinking about. These are about changing our habits for the good of the game as well. We have to develop a new etiquette that is in line with international conduct at stadiums.

The responsibility of hosting the biggest soccer spectacle in the world demands that we buy tickets way ahead of time in order to reduce traffic congestions, long ticketing queues and random seating arrangements, thus disrupting the enjoyment of the game.

With the World Cup in 2010, Fifa rules are going to apply, and I believe the new season offers us an opportunity to get both our house and ourselves as fans in order for a successful hosting and roasting of visiting teams.

The ball, as the saying goes, is in our area. The time to bring about changes starts now.

l Tim Modise is the 2010 World Cup SA Local Organising Committee's head of communications. - For your suggestions, queries and more on 2010