South Africa: FIFA to Pump Millions Into South Africa and Kickstart Amateur Football Economy

analysis

A seismic change is about to take place in the funding of amateur soccer clubs by Fifa, and SA clubs need to make sure they are in a position to benefit.

There is a massive informal economy that revolves around amateur football. In every corner of South Africa, it creates employment, keeps money flowing through our townships and towns, and gives our (mostly unemployed) youth purpose and pride. For the talented and lucky few it is also a starting point for a lucrative career in the professional game.

On any given weekend, almost three million football players, coaches and referees connect with millions of fans next to fields or open pieces of dirt. More people are involved in amateur football than any other sport in South Africa, by far.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the trickle-down economics of South African football, there is none. The PSL hoards income from TV rights and large sponsorship deals. Almost nothing flows to the 40,000 poor clubs at the bottom of the pyramid.

Rent-seeking professional clubs attract skilled football players, but fail to fairly reward the often poor clubs that nurtured and developed the talent. Almost zero financial incentive for local football clubs to...

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