Mazingisa ex­cited to em­brace fresh ideas at foot­ball sum­mit

Pretoria News - - SPORT -

SOUTH African foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tor, Senzo Mazingisa Mbatha is one of the few in­di­vid­u­als who have used their 2010 Fifa World Cup ex­pe­ri­ence to boost ca­pac­ity on the con­ti­nent. Mbatha is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Tan­za­nian giants Simba SC and will be one of the speak­ers at the World Foot­ball Sum­mit (WFS) Africa in Dur­ban from March 17-18 March at the ICC. WFS Africa spoke to him.

Q. Tell us a bit about your jour­ney which has taken you to Simba SC in Tan­za­nia.

A. It is a typ­i­cal foot­ball jour­ney. I have been serv­ing the foot­ball in­dus­try for over 20 years now, and the ex­pe­ri­ence gained through my dif­fer­ent as­sign­ments at dif­fer­ent foot­balling or­gan­i­sa­tions has made this move pos­si­ble. I got con­tacted and ad­vised that there’s a po­si­tion of the CEO ad­ver­tised by the East African Giants Simba SC of Tan­za­nia last year.

I ap­plied for the job, went through all the pro­cesses, and as they say, the rest is his­tory.

Q. What is your take on the game on the con­ti­nent? Is it on the up or is it static?

A. It is dif­fi­cult to give a fair com­ment on this ques­tion be­cause the game of foot­ball has im­proved in some parts of the con­ti­nent and has dropped in other parts.

The South­ern African teams have been do­ing well in the last few years, ex­port­ing good tal­ent over­seas, win­ning Cup of Na­tions (Zam­bia), win­ning the CAF Cham­pi­ons League (Mamelodi Sun­downs) etc; also tak­ing into ac­count how women’s foot­ball has fared in the last few years, I would say it’s also on the up.

In other parts like the Western and Cen­tral African re­gions, most teams in CAF com­pe­ti­tions have some­how found the go­ing tough. I can’t re­call when last we had any of their teams in the semis of the CAF com­pe­ti­tion. Teams in North Africa con­tinue to do well both in club and na­tional teams com­pe­ti­tions.

It’s also pleas­ing to see teams in East Africa do­ing fairly well.

I mean, Tan­za­nia in this re­gard win­ning the U-20 Cecafa Cup tour­na­ment, qual­i­fy­ing for the CAF CHAN tour­na­ment, pro­duc­ing teams that went all the way to the quar­ter-fi­nals in CAF club cham­pi­onships. That must be com­mended.

We have re­cently wit­nessed one of the Tan­za­nian stars be­ing signed by As­ton Villa. So over­all I think the game is on the up in most parts of Africa. Q. What do you make of ini­tia­tives like WFS Africa? What are the out­comes you would like to see come of such ini­tia­tives?

A. These are sig­nif­i­cant ini­tia­tives. I have also at­tended sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives in the last few months. These sort of ini­tia­tives as­sist you as an in­di­vid­ual to gauge the level at which you and or your or­gan­i­sa­tion are op­er­at­ing at ver­sus what the in­dus­try is work­ing at. It is also an op­por­tu­nity to learn new ideas, meet new part­ners and em­brace the ex­ist­ing ones.

More so we get to see how best to move our club and or­gan­i­sa­tions for­ward. It is also en­cour­ag­ing to be in­vited to these sum­mits to give your ex­pert knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ences in shap­ing our foot­ball on the con­ti­nent. I would like to thank the or­gan­is­ers and spon­sors for such a great ini­tia­tive.

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