FIFA has announced the formation of the FIFA Foundation, “with the purpose of providing a solid legal and institutional basis for FIFA’s social development initiatives. One of the core intentions of the FIFA Foundation will be to institutionalise a commitment of the FIFA Legends to engage in such activities and act as promoters of FIFA’s aims and objectives related to social development”.
“The FIFA Foundation should be operational by the first quarter of 2018 and will initially comprise the FIFA President and two members of the FIFA Council, Sonia Bien-Aime and Kwesi Nyantakyi”.
“Later in the year, the FIFA Council will appoint a selection of respected personalities –from football and other areas of society –as additional members of the Foundation Board”.
Commenting on this ground breaking decision by FIFA, President of the SAFA recognised South African Masters and Legends Football Association (SAMFLA), Buddha Mathathe, said that “ideally the support for football legends should be a grassroots initiative where federations and leagues have special programmes to continue the legacy of retired footballers but such an initiative by FIFA should be welcomed and perhaps the plight of these legends could now be raised to create a higher level of awareness”.
Mathathe says that, “SAMFLA is launching a number of initiatives to provide all forms of support to raise funds in support of these programmes.”
“SAMFLA has also launched a Football Legends Awards to give recognition for the contribution made by these retired footballers of, which a travelling interactive exhibition will be staged at major matches to preserve their legacy.”
Mathathe says, “SAMFLA are not looking for hand outs but are calling on all football stakeholders including those who are currently sponsoring the game in the country, to engage the Association on how to become partners rather than donors. This would include local, provincial and national government to contact the Association on how they could also become partners to our initiatives.”
SAMLA’s next programme is the much awaited “Egoli Legends Cup” – the first festival will see legends from Soweto, battling it out with legends from Tshwane, Johannesburg and the rest of Gauteng on Sunday 3 December 2017. SAMFLA is planning to stage the festival in Soweto and is awaiting approval from government to make use of one of the local stadiums.