oliphant gives Sasfa oomph

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The South African Football Association (Safa) has welcomed the formation of new soccer body, saying it augurs well for the development of the beautiful game.

Safa president Molefi Oliphant said it was high time that the South African school curriculum also includes a dedicated time for sports.

Oliphant described the formation of the South African Schools Football Association in Kempton Park on Saturday - an associate member of Safa - as a historic occasion.

The support by Oliphant comes at a time when many South Africans are concerned that there were no longer dedicated sports days at schools.

In the past, schools around the country played various sporting activities on Wednesdays, which helped to unearth raw talent.

They included Sibusiso Zuma, (soccer), Portia Dimu, Martha Mosoatlhe (netball), Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (athletics) and Makhaya Ntini (cricket).

"In the school time-tables, there must be time allocated for sports. Our children must play. A nation that plays sport is a healthy nation," said Oliphant.

"As a valued member of Safa, schools football is taking a significant contribution towards the development of football in our country.

"You are not only going to develop education through football, but you are also going to transform our communities. You are going to change the lives of our youth."

A teacher by profession, Oliphant also urged Sasfa members to also get involved in the running of soccer structures in their communities.

"My request to you is to get involved in the local football associations and regions to have continuity between schools' football and the national football association."

Sasfa is a new body formed to exclusively run school soccer activities after the disbanding of the United School Association of South Africa (Ussasa) last year. Ussasa then catered for various sporting codes.