Football for Hope Centre launched in Alexandra

Safa President Danny Jordaan
Safa President Danny Jordaan
Image: Gallo Images

Long after the last ball of the 2010 Fifa World Cup was kicked, the spin-offs and legacy of the global event continue to mushroom.

Fifa launched the 16th Football for Hope Centre in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan asked Fifa to consider naming the centre after Leepile Taunyane, who died recently -- a long-time resident of Alexandra and loyal servant of the game.

"Alex has produced many leaders of note in every sphere of life. Doctor Taunyane was one such leader and many others can be found in parliament and boardrooms," said Jordaan.

The facilitator and managing director of Grassroot Soccer, James Donald, described the centre as a place that uses football to link children to local health and education services.

Grassroot Soccer is a global non-governmental organisation that is in partnership with Safa and Fifa to roll out such centres.

Donald said each centre can provide at least five sustainable jobs.

As part of 20 Centres for 2010 campaign South Africa as host of the first World Cup on the African continent has five facilities, the other four are in Khayelitsha (Western Cape), Qwaqwa (Free State), Mokopane (Limpopo) and Edendale (KZN).

The centre focuses on teaching the youth about the importance of sport, education, health-care, HIV/Aids awareness, computers and life-skills.

Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke praised the community of Alexandra for taking ownership of the facility.

"This will help to develop the youth by providing the proper ground to develop their talent and skills," he said.

Other football for hope centres have been established in Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.