The South African Football Association (SAFA) has made massive strides in professionalizing semi-professional and amateur football with the introduction of the MYSAFA, South Africa's official football player registration and competition management system.
The ground-breaking initiative, launched in partnership by Port Elizabeth based IT company Inqaku, centralizes the registration of players and the printing of identity cards. A link to the National Department of Home Affairs ensures that cards are issued accurately to real people.
Before the introduction of MYSAFA, player records were decentralized and SAFA Regions and Local Football Associations (LFAs) could print their own cards. Against SAFA rules, this made it possible for players to play in multiple leagues if the leagues were administered by different SAFA structures. In extreme cases, the lack of checks made it possible for players to play in incorrect age groups or with a fake ID card.
By streamlining player registration and transfers, MYSAFA is improving efficiency and accountability while fighting corruption.
While the curbing of age-cheating is arguably the system's most impressive aspect, MYSAFA has offered what has been sadly missing in South African football, which is a reliable source of information for all amateur leagues in the country.
From Moretele U13 leagues in the North West to the Eastern Cape ABC Motsepe league, through MYSAFA.net, the public access to the latest and most reliable fixtures, results and log tables across multiple SAFA official competitions.
With over 210 000 players registered, close to 6000 amateur clubs and more than 70 000 fixtures managed on a weekly basis, MYSAFA continues to grow into a true asset for South African football.
"Since going live in 2017 we have already made significant strides in curbing cheating in football and making the sport easily accessible to the public. We still have a long way to go until all 3 million active players in organised football in South Africa are registered." said Russell Paul, Acting SAFA CEO
"MYSAFA will become an important tool for football development and talent identification."
Football clubs, LFA's, schools and the general public are urged to get in touch with the Inqaku head office to find out more about how they can be a part of this exciting initiative on 041 583 1932.