Age cheating and identity theft in South African football could soon be a thing of the past after the South African Football Association (Safa) decided to introduce a centralised online player registeration system called MySAFA.
This app will allow administrators, coaches and officials across all 52 Safa regions to verify a player's identity before they can be registered and be allowed to compete for any club.
When a player’s ID number is punched on the MySAFA app, their information is auto-completed via an API to the Department of Home Affairs to confirm their identity. The app is available both as an online portal and a mobile app.
MySAFA was first launched in the Eastern Cape in February 2017, and since then over 83 000 football players have already been registered, 40 percent of which were completed in the first few months of this year, and the app has gained popularity over the past few months.
Safa is hoping to complete 500 000 registrations before the end of 2018, and at least 1.3 million by the end of 2019.
Since the launch of this new digital platform, age cheating at the local level has dropped.
MySAFA also enables officials to check if the player is registered with other leagues or clubs.
After the verification is complete and successful, an identity card which is printed centrally and distributed to each region is then issued to a player, meaning players will not be able to register with another team whilst still on the books of another team.