23 August 2017 – SAFA Western Cape recently hosted a workshop of the new and exciting MYSAFA central management system at the Athlone Stadium last week.

Representatives from all SAFA Western Cape Regions and Local Football Associations from as far as Central Karoo and Cape Town attended to get first-hand experience of the MySAFA system.

The system will manage the registration of players as well as officials, which will make for smooth transition of information of all grassroots football activities.

SAFA Western Cape Chairperson Gerald Don, a member of the NEC and Competitions Committee, who had experienced the system from when it was first presented, also attended and was enthusiastic following the interaction with the different Western Cape provincial members.

“This system will centralise the management and information from the different leagues. There were many challenges previously, especially with the regional leagues, because players were only registered at regional level.

“Previously the information was scattered around; from now on we are going to start with our information database, which will give people access to information and archives of football activities in South Africa. This system will assist a lot, including knockout tournaments and junior school leagues.”

Meanwhile, SAFA Central Karoo Vice President David Maans, a Provincial Committee member for Competitions, welcomed the system as a tool to manage the movements of players between the different provinces.

Some of the issues raised during the workshop were that of players who have the opportunity to study outside their province of birth, where they have been forced to register as new players.

“The system will definitely help us prevent fraudulent registration, which has been a huge problem, especially in our region. We’ve identified a few issues in how we can marry the system with the rules and regulations of the different competitions and registration periods.

“We will be able to check the double registrations of people, because that has been the main problem. Some players come with the wrong paperwork – clearance certificates and identity documents – especially in the rural areas. This system will help identify them no matter where they come from and intend to play.”

Craig Rivett from the SAFA Digital wing, Inqaku, facilitated the workshop to offer guidance and get feedback from the delegates, before it is officially rolled out.

He explained that the idea behind the system is for SAFA to see and monitor the organisation as a whole, and get everyone to align in the different SAFA structures, leagues and tournaments.

“At the moment the organisation is broken up into provinces, regions and LFA’s, who use different systems, processes and structures. The eventual goal is to have some place where you can see football as a whole.

“While it will curb cheating, the most important return from the system will be that it will help identify talent earlier at grassroots level all the way up.

“The system’s identity is built around SAFA.net, but the aim is for it to become more personal, hence the name MySAFA. Eventually, we want the players to be able to see their own mySAFA profiles and start tracking their progress.

“What we’re doing now is to get the foundation right, the system will be rolled out at ABC Motsepe League, SASOL Women’s League and SAB League level, thereafter the step down to the LFA and club level will be easier.”

Sizwe Mbebe, SAFA Western Cape