3 October 2017 – The SAFA delegation visiting Spain to explore various cooperative opportunities with LaLiga had a busy day on Monday, 2 October 2017 in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

First the delegation took an extensive tour of the modern 68 000-capacity Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, the home of Atletico Madrid, met LaLiga President Javier Tebas before welcoming members of the Future Champs who are visiting Madrid.

First, the delegation which is led by SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan and comprising all of SAFA’s Provincial Representatives where taken through the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium which has been described as the most advanced stadium in Europe in terms of compliance. Here they were taken through the stadium security, its general set up and modern infrastructure.

The stadium will host the final of UEFA Champions League in 2019.

After the tour, the SAFA delegation met LaLiga President Tabas at the LaLiga offices in Madrid in which the two agreed on a wide range of joint ventures including next year’s Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations, coaching education among other areas.

Dr Jordaan said the delegation had visited LaLiga in a bid to learn from probably the best practises on the globe when it comes to football development and professionalism.

He told Mr Tebas that SAFA wanted to learn more about the structural make up of Spain’s academies in which they wanted to look at the funding models, the scouting system, player management, the transfer of players among other things.

SAFA was also keen to learn about the country’s football philosophy, coaches programmes in a bid to accelerate the development of coaches in the country as part of Vision 2022.

“If we want to be leaders of the sport on the continent and become a global player, we have to embrace some of the best practises on the globe and they don’t come more professional than LaLiga. This league is an example of excellence,” said Dr Jordaan.

He said it was important to also learn about the use of technology in this fast changing world and help work with LaLiga in growing the sport on the African continent.

The SAFA delegation was pencilled to visit Barcelona but because of the volatile political climate on the Catalonia area, that trip could not take place.

However, Mr Tebas undertook to work hand in hand with SAFA in a number of areas including funding some of their critical projects in South Africa.

On Tuesday, the SAFA delegation will visit various academies in Spain including that of Real Madrid and Real Vallecano.