SAFA announces new CEO


THE South African Football Association (SAFA) has appointed Dr Robin Petersen as the new Chief Executive Officer  on a fixed term for the next three years. Dr Petersen will start his duties on Monday, 1 August 2011, while acting CEO Pinky Lehoko does the handover.

The appointment of a CEO will help the Association to drive its vision for a new strategic direction to deliver on:


(i)     Competitive National Teams for both men and women;

(ii)   Strong focus on development at grassroots level;

(iii) Enhancing the international profile of South African football;

(iv)  Ensuring that the commercial program of the Association delivers the resources to achieve these objectives.


The search for a suitable person was a long and intense process. The panel responsible for the search finalized the process and their recommendation was accepted by the Management Committee of SAFA on this afternoon (Tuesday, 26 July 2011).


“We would like to thank all the candidates for offering to serve South African football. We believe that Dr Petersen has the necessary qualifications, experience and expertise in business and football to assist SAFA to deliver on the mandate outlined earlier in this statement. We are happy to have made this appointment and now we can focus on our core business of running the game of football in this country. The reason we perhaps took so long to find a new CEO is that we did not find the suitable candidate,” said SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani.


Dr Petersen was CEO of the Premier Soccer League between 2000 and 2001. Since he left football, Dr Petersen has been involved in business.

“I am excited, and humbled by this appointment. I look forward to the challenges, to working with the team at SAFA to ensure we take the Association to greater levels. I am passionate about the game of football, and I could not stay away from it for too long. I am also passionate about football development and will strive to ensure we work hard on it. To ensure our success, we need to ensure we put the right structures administratively, commercially and strategically,” said new CEO Dr Petersen.


He will take over from acting CEO Ms Pinky who has been standing in since the departure of former CEO Leslie Sedibe earlier this year.


“I believe this is the best appointment and will work for the betterment of the game. I have worked with him before during South Africa’s 2006 FIFA World Cup bid. I know he can deliver because he has the passion for the game, and he will get all the support he needs. I would like to thank the Association for believing in me and allowing me the opportunity to lead this organization, I have learnt a lot from this experience. I would also like to thank my colleagues for helping me through this period, as well as the media for the support,” said Lehoko.






I have always been passionate about South African Football and have been proud to have had a long formal association with the game in this country.

·        Organisational development work for SAFA in 1997 and 1998

·        GM of SA2006 World Cup Bid  from 1999 – 2000

·        CEO of PSL  2000-2001

This football background has been richly enhanced by my subsequent work in the business sector, where I have learnt hard-core business skills that will significantly enhance my ability to lead an organization as complex and challenging as SAFA.

·        CEO Nutrihealth Africa

·        CEO of Linden Consulting

·        CEO and founder of the Business Revolution Group




2006 – Present                    Group CEO of the Business Revolution Group, a company dedicated to building sustainable values-based projects through its technologies, processes and business partnerships.


2005                                       CEO Linden Consulting (Pty) Limited


2002 – 2004                          CEO, Nutrihealth Africa


2000 – 2001                          CEO Premier Soccer League


1998 – 2000                          GM, SA2006 World Cup Soccer Bid


1995 – 1998                          Senior Lecturer, University of Western Cape


1989 – 1995                          University of Chicago


1983 – 1989                          Minister, United Congregational Church, Heideveld/Manenberg


1985 – 1986                          Director, The Ecumenical Action Movement (CBO)


1980 – 1981                          Sales Executive, Burroughs Computers


1977 – 1979                          Marketing assistant, 3M Company




1996 – 1998                          Organisational Development, Strategic Planning and Human Performance Consulting with own consulting company.

1996 – 2000                          Trustee and Trainer for CARAS Trust (Centre for Anti-Racism and Anti-Sexism)

1986 – 1989                          Founder and Chair of Manenberg Peoples Centre.




PhD                            University of Chicago, 1995

Theology and Ethics, with distinction

MA                              UCT, 1985

Religion and Ethics, Cum Laude

BTh. And Hons       UNISA, 1979, 1982


MATRIC                     Kloof High School, 1974




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