25 August 2020 – COVID-19 has unfortunately halted football in communities across the country. One particular Local Football Association (LFA) that has been affected is SAFA Chatsworth, an area where the sport’s popularity is unmatched.

SAFA.net chatted to President, Mr Nelson “Spinks” Kuppen, who shared the LFA’s experience over the past five months.

Kuppen began by sharing the general challenges that the area has faced ever since the hard-lockdown period began.

“The Pandemic has brought the LFA to a standstill. We had to adhere to Government and of course SAFA’s Rules and Regulations. The youth and seniors are missing their beloved sport, which is the number one sporting code in Chatsworth. People’s lives have been turned around, some with precarious work situations which will drastically affect households and their families,” he said.

On the measures taken to try and mitigate these challenges, Kuppen stressed the need for a united front.

“Yes, we have constantly engaged with the membership of our LFA and kept them abreast of the situation regarding the continuation of football. The leadership is also constantly advising our membership of the feedback from our mother body SAFA. We have also involved the LFA with the Nelson Mandela Youth Fund and contributed R10 000 towards the provision of food hampers within our community. The EXCO members have also aided office clerks with a contribution,” added the President.

Teams in the area have also come to the party.

“Teams have been fully co-operative and very understanding of the crisis. The clubs from our LFA have fully supported the cause. Some clubs have even taken it upon themselves and extended a supporting hand to its own players and families by providing general support and food hamper assistance,” stated Kuppen.

On future plans and expectations, the LFA Head was hopeful.

“Our entire plan for the year depends on whether we are eventually given the green light. We must remember that the Pandemic is still around, so even if we do resume we still need to adhere to the necessary safety precautions. Clubs and their players must be able to manage the situation by ensuring all protocols regarding safety are observed. Although our season normally runs from April to November annually, the Executives will discuss the way forward once we are given the go-ahead by SAFA. It will be a while before we would be able to get back to normal though.”

The President has one final comment for fans and loyal supporters.

“We make a humble request to fans to be patient, continue to wear masks, sanitize and social distance at all times. Please keep your families safe and together we can move into the new normal. Soccer is still very much alive and we promise to get back on our feet once we are given the all clear. God bless us all,” concluded Kuppen.