Jordaan adamant SA can afford women's World Cup

Safa congress all set to ratify decision to bid

Nkareng Matshe Sports editor
Banyana Banyana's progress in international football in recent years has prompted Safa to bid to host the 2027 World Cup.
Banyana Banyana's progress in international football in recent years has prompted Safa to bid to host the 2027 World Cup.
Image: Lefty Shivambu

Despite the country grappling with a declining economy, unending load shedding and a recent grey listing, the SA Football Association is confident bidding for the 2027 women’s Fifa World Cup will get sufficient backing from the government to make it happen.

Safa president Danny Jordaan confirmed yesterday that the association will, in a congress this weekend, ratify the country’s bid to host the event by passing a motion to appoint a bid committee, among others.

The association first toyed with the idea of hosting the women’s World Cup four years ago, but withdrew to allow Australia and New Zealand to stage this year’s event, which is set for July and August.

But with SA faced with a myriad social challenges and a stagnant economy obliterated by persistent load shedding, hosting another World Cup on the back of the 2010 exorbitant tournament which left the taxpayers reeling could be seen as unrealistic.

Jordaan doesn’t agree, however, reasoning the country already has the requisite infrastructure to stage the event and, as a result, it won’t be as costly as 2010.

Asked directly if the World Cup would not burden a government already drawing from a shrunk tax base, Jordaan maintained SA can afford to host the event despite suggestions President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government had gone broke.

“The biggest costs for hosting the World Cup is infrastructure, and we already have that. The government needs only to provide guarantees such as security. We have functional hotels and training venues,” the Safa president said at a media breakfast in Johannesburg yesterday.

On SA’s problematic power supply, Jordaan stated there won’t be a situation where lights go out during a match. “The bid regulations ask you to guarantee uninterrupted power supply to every venue. In 2010 we had a generator and a backup, and we didn’t have a single break in transmission in the international broadcast centre. So load shedding is not something that makes us not to sleep at night.”

SA will go up against Brazil and a joint bid from Germany, Netherlands and Belgium for the right to host the 32-nation event in 2027.

Jordaan said this weekend’s Safa congress should give a go-ahead to appointing a bid committee and chairperson “as the face of the bid”.

Once the bid has been formally submitted and accepted by Fifa, an inspection will take place early next year. “After this, we should have the voting which probably will be in June next year, where for the first time all 211 members of Fifa will decide who wins the right to host the 2027 women’s World Cup.”

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