PSL set to host historic major leagues conference

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The world seems to be showing confidence in South Africa's professional soccer.

This is shown by the fact that the Premier Soccer League (PSL) has been chosen to host the historic first ever global meeting of International Leagues in June.

An ecstatic Irvin Khoza, chairman of the PSL, said they still have to decide the venue for the conference.

In the past, it was only European league chairmen meeting to discuss a variety of issues relating to football in their continent.

South Africa and South America were invited as observers by Uefa to attend their gathering in Spain early last month.

South Africa (PSL) were the only ones invited from Africa, largely because of the array of remarkable achievements in the past few months.

These included securing a R1,6 billion television rights from SuperSport International for the next five years.

Issues discussed at the Spain meeting included how to deal with their international calendar, relationship with the players' agents and players' union.

The International Leagues is a structure of chairmen of the world's soccer leagues with the Football Association of England's Dave Richards as its convenor.

"We (the PSL) are naturally excited that South Africa has been chosen to host this historic conference of the International Leagues," said Khoza.

"We still have to decide the venue, but it will be between Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town because of their infrastructure."

Khoza will meet Richards and Emmanuel Manderos, secretary general of the International Leagues in Portugal on Monday to discuss the preparations.

Asked why South Africa was invited to the Spain meeting, Khoza said: "We are number one in the world in content control television rights. We own the television rights, we are also number one in the world in graphics and rights management. We are also strong on the league sponsorship.

"In terms of the television rights deals, we are number seven in the world. We are also number one in Africa to have proactive discussions with the players' union.

"It tells you why they decided to come to us, we are a growing giant in the world."

Khoza will also meet the PSL executive soon to discuss the June meeting.