SA bids for five Fifa tourneys

SOUTH Africa returned from the Fifa congress in Mauritius at the weekend having bid for five different future world championships.

It is a complete change in strategy from the South African Football Association whose only previous bid for a finals event was the 2010 World Cup and who had missed many opportunities over the past two decades.

Now Safa has put the country forward as a candidate for the 2016 U-20 Women's World Cup (up against Ireland and Norway); 2016 U-17 Women's World Cup (up against Bahrain, Ireland and Jordan); 2017 U-20 World Cup (up against Bahrain, France, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Tunisia and Ukraine); 2017 U-17 World Cup (up against Ireland, India and Uzbekistan); and 2017 Beach Soccer World Cup (up against Argentina, Bahrain, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, India, Israel, Morocco, Seychelles and Turkey).

The logic must be they will get the right to host at least one of them, although there seems to be no real preference. The gem in the crown, however, is the 2017 U-20 World Cup, always a highly regarded tournament where the likes of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Thierry Henry were first unveiled to world football.

Fifa will make a decision on the hosts in December in a vote of its executive committee.