Safa’s new digital platform will counter ‘age cheating’ in amateur soccer
SAFA Phoenix is preparing for a groundbreaking season when the campaign gets under way in two weeks’ time.
For the first time in the Local
Football Association’s history, the threat of age cheating among the junior ranks will be weeded out.
Age cheating is where the identification documents of older players are doctored by administrators so they gain an unfair advantage by playing against younger opposition. It has plagued amateur football for decades.
Now, thanks to a digital platform called Mysafa, the identification of all players will be checked with details available from the Home Affairs Department.
“We are among a small number of association members in the province who are taking advantage of the system that has been made available to us by the sport’s governing body,” said Safa Phoenix chairman Desmond Ganesan.
“Once teams send us their registration documents, we will upload the information to the portal. It then checks the information with Home Affairs’ records to ensure every player has submitted legitimate information.”
Safa Phoenix currently boasts one of the biggest junior playing structures in the province and the new system will help to develop players in a fair environment.
“The playing fields have been levelled. Now we will see the true potential of our kids. This will allow them to express themselves and develop in a like-for-like league,” Ganesan said.
This year’s competition will cater for junior players between the ages of 7 and 17, while the seniors will compete across three divisions, including a Premier League category.
“We are busy with club registrations at the moment. Historically, clubs have been slow to come forward with their documents. We are aiming to get going by the end of the month, so I would like to urge clubs to get their administration in order,” said Ganesan.