THE South African Football Association (SAFA) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) have joined forces in assisting and contributing to the massive humanitarian effort that is currently on the go in Somalia. SAFA and the PSL have formed a joint committee under the leadership of SAFA Vice President Mandla Mazibuko and Kaizer Motaung.
The Committee has recommended that a fund be established immediately with the goal of raising at least one million rand. The Fund received its first boost with a donation of five-hundred-thousand-rand (R500 000) from the PSL. The Association is also generating its own contribution to the fund, including donating ten percent (10%) of the gate takings from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Sierra Leone to be played at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit this Saturday.
SAFA and the PSL’s pledge comes in the wake of a call from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to all its members and federations to contribute as millions of people continue to suffer in Somalia and around the horn of Africa due to famine.
“A severe food crisis has plagued Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda and its surroundings over the past few months, killing many people, especially women and children. The international community through the Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies are responding to the emergency situation, but it continues unabated. Urgent humanitarian support is needed for these countries. The African football family cannot stay without reacting to this severe food crisis. I would like you to mobilise football clubs in your country to help fight this challenge,” said CAF President Issa Hayatou in a statement.
SAFA is expected to officially hand over the cheque to CAF at their next Executive Committee meeting today in Cairo, Egypt.
“We as SAFA are committed to the principle of African Solidarity and we are asking each Member, Associate Member, LFA and other key SAFA stakeholders to see what they can contribute to this fund. We would also like to request the civil society at large to assist the football relief effort by raising funds in their areas of operation to aid in the emergency relief effort currently underway in the Horn of Africa. We cannot stand by and watch when our fellow people find themselves under such terrible conditions,” said SAFA CEO Dr Robin Petersen.
His words were echoed by the PSL.
“We have a responsibility for the well being of our fellow brothers and sisters on the African continent, “commented PSL CEO, Zola Majavu.
“Every cent helps and I also urge other sporting organisations to get involved and assist in whatever way,”
A letter has also been sent to all sponsors within the SAFA and PSL family to assist and contribute to this worthy cause.
Dr Peterson has received the PSL’s R500 000 cheque from his counterpart, Zola Majavu.