New centre gets praise

Bafana Bafana doctor Ephraim Nematswerani has commended Fifa for the opening of the first Medical Centre of Excellence in Africa.

Bafana Bafana doctor Ephraim Nematswerani has commended Fifa for the opening of the first Medical Centre of Excellence in Africa.

It was opened at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on Monday and various soccer leaders, including Irvin Khoza and Danny Jordaan, were present.

The centre offers laboratory and field testing for individual players and teams and provides feedback and recommendations for training.

Practising a strictly multi-disciplinary approach, the centre provides treatment and comprehensive rehabilitation programmes tailored to individual needs.

"It's very good that a centre has been opened in Johannesburg, we've so many sports people in South Africa," said Nematswerani.

"We can't have many sports people without quality sports centres. Countries doing well, like Germany and Australia, have many quality sports centres."

Jiri Dvorak, Fifa's chief medical officer, said this was the first centre in Africa and based in South Africa, hosts of the 2010 World Cup.

"The centre creates a legacy far beyond this event by educating the next generation of African clinical specialists committed to football medicine."

Demitri Constantinou, director of the Wits Centre for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, said: "We are uniquely placed to have the integration of sport science with medicine, which broadens and strengthens our activities."

The centre was identified as the Centre of Specialisation for Football by the SA Football Association, initially started by former competitions director Zola Dunywa and Wits three years ago.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee are also involved in the project.

X