The South African Football Association (SAFA) high level Observer Group leaves for Equatorial Guinea and Gabon this coming Friday to learn about the hosts’ operational models. The lessons learnt will help prepare the country when it next hosts the 2013 AFCON tournament.
The 10-member delegation comprising top National Executive Committee (NEC) members will be headed by SAFA vice-president Mandla ‘Shoes’ Mazibuko who will also double-up as the Gauteng Province representative.
The delegation is made up of Alpha Mchunu (Ethekwini /Moses Mabidha Stadium), Mziwandile Fina (President of Nelson Mandela Region/Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium), Paseka Nkone (North West/Royal Bafokeng Stadium), Brains Zulu (Mpumalanga/Mbombela Stadium), Abel Rakoma (Limpopo/Peter Mokaba Stadium), Nomsa Mahlangu or Mzwandile Maforvane (Free State/Mangaung Stadium) and Morris Tshabalala (Western Cape/Green Point Stadium).
The chairman of the technical committee, Fanyana Sibanyoni and the association chief operations officer, Dennis Mumble complete a list of the SAFA delegation off to the AFCON tournament.
“We are going there as observers and we intend to fully utilise any new trend we will have learnt there,” said head of delegation and SAFA vice-president Mazibuko.
“We hosted the best World Cup ever but in modern football you learn new trends almost every day. As 2013 hosts, we want to go thorough the homework so that we are not found wanting when we welcome the rest of the continent next year. Bear in mind, it is only a year to go now,” added Mazibuko.
Some of the areas the delegation will be interested in noting down are areas of the opening ceremony, crowd control, ticketing, accreditation and the general management of the entire tournament.
“We will also meet the hosts’ organising committee and exchange notes,” said Mazibuko.
SAFA President, Kirsten Nematandani who will chair the 2013 AFCON tournament is already in Equatorial Guinea and will be joined by vice-president Danny Jordaan on Friday. The two are part of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) committee entrusted in running the AFCON tournament that is being co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Former acting CEO Pinky Lehoko will join them later.