The South African Football Association (SAFA) has announced a major initiative to register all school football players on a digital platform.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has announced a major initiative to register all school football players on a digital platform. The aim of this initiative is to allow SAFA to communicate with football players more effectively, and to combat age and other forms of identity cheating in football, starting at the youth level.

Players will be issued a digital identification card that can be validated pitch-side using a free app. Both the registration system and app are developed by Inqaku, a Port Elizabeth-based software development company.

SAFA CEO, Dennis Mumble said he was proud that the Association was the first national sporting body in South Africa to launch a digitalisation project for school-age members.

“This project will eventually wipe out age cheating, a scourge on our beautiful game. Many people still approach us about age cheating but because of lack of proof, in most cases we are unable to do anything about it. With this new system, we are able to track a player from first registration,” said the SAFA CEO. “In the long-term, it will be a great tool for talent identification as well.”

This project represents the first step in SAFA’s digital ambitions that include registering all SAFA stakeholders, including players, referees and coaches by 2018. Competition systems and an amateur football results website will be launched in 2017.

SAFA President, Danny Jordaan, stated: “These technology initiatives are another important piece of SAFA’s Vision 2022. How teams and federations use technology separates the merely good from the great. These systems will be the foundation of our talent identification pipeline for all our national sides to be highly competitive on the continent and globally.”

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