Safa’s new home takes shape

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Safa’s state of the art Na­tional Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre is slowly tak­ing shape.

Last year, the as­so­ci­a­tion forked out R65 mil­lion on the Fun Val­ley Plea­sure Re­sort, an en­ter­tain­ment and hol­i­day venue in the south of Joburg, with the pur­pose of turn­ing the fa­cil­ity into a world-class tech­ni­cal cen­tre.

In 2014, Safa re­vealed plans to build the tech­ni­cal cen­tre as part of the World Cup Legacy Trust.

The cen­tre, which is si­t­u­ated on the Golden High­way be­tween El­do­rado Park and Le­na­sia, will house all the na­tional teams.

It will of­fer the most mod­ern train­ing fa­cil­i­ties avail­able. Banyana Banyana are hold­ing their Olympic Games train­ing camp at the cen­tre al­ready, which Safa has dubbed the new home of South African foot­ball.

Safa chief ex­ec­u­tive Den­nis Mum­ble told City Press the first phase of con­struc­tion, which would cost about R50 mil­lion over the next five years, was al­ready in progress.

He said the bulk of the money would come from the Legacy Trust Fund.

Mum­ble said they would also source funds from pri­vate donors.

Last week, Safa’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive rubber-stamped the artist’s im­pres­sion of the fa­cil­ity and gave it the go-ahead. “We have al­ready bud­geted R25 mil­lion for this year and have ap­plied to Fifa for more fund­ing. We are look­ing at con­struct­ing four full pitches – two nat­u­ral grass and two ar­ti­fi­cial, a se­cu­rity wall and upgrade on ac­com­mo­da­tion,” said Mum­ble.

He ex­plained that they also wanted to add an As­tro­turf pitch, hence the ap­pli­ca­tion to Fifa.

“We are en­ti­tled to $600 000 (R9.53 mil­lion) from Fifa ev­ery year and we have asked them if we could get it ear­lier so we could push our pro­ject. If it goes ahead, it will go out on ten­der, which nor­mally takes about three months, and we are look­ing at around June or July to start with the con­struc­tion. We are con­fi­dent of get­ting the funds,” said Mum­ble.

He said that be­cause of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa, the coun­try was treated dif­fer­ently from the rest of the con­ti­nent for the Fifa Goal Pro­ject, which pro­vides fund­ing for es­sen­tial foot­ball projects.

“All we got from Fifa were the Foot­ball for Hope cen­tres in the Khayelit­sha and Alexandra town­ships. I think we have pre­sented a solid case to Fifa to be granted the funds. We will know soon and be­gin to clear the area in Fe­bru­ary.”

He said they were go­ing to ap­proach other as­so­ci­a­tions and univer­si­ties with a view to shar­ing the fa­cil­ity.

“We think our med­i­cal sci­ence cen­tre should be open to other as­so­ci­a­tions and univer­si­ties for re­search pur­poses.” He said they would keep the plea­sure re­sort op­er­a­tional to bring in rev­enue for the main­te­nance of the area.

PHOTO: CHRIS­TIAN PETERSEN / GETTY IM­AGES PHOTO: SI­FISO NKOSI

GOLDEN BOY Wayde van Niek­erk is a medal cer­tainty who is un­likely

to strug­gle when it comes to fund­ing HAPPY Safa CEO Den­nis Mum­ble says their state of

the art tech­ni­cal fa­cil­ity is on track

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