Safa decides against bidding for Fifa Club World Cup in SA
The SA Football Association’s (Safa) national executive committee (NEC) have resolved that the body will not pursue the bid to host the 2021 Fifa Club World Cup, with the main challenge being vaccinations and fans in stadiums.
Safa said in a statement it had resolved to liaise with the government on the issue of supporters returning to stadiums.
Safa had considered bidding to step in as a host of the Club World Cup when Japan withdrew over Covid-19 concerns.
Matches of Safa’s special member and professional wing, the National Soccer League (NSL), have been played behind closed doors since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the end of the 2019-20 season, entire 2020-21 campaign and beginning of the current season.
Safa said in a statement on Saturday: “With regards to the Fifa Club World Cup, the Safa NEC said the issue of the short period of time left to bid and put all processes in place was proving a challenge. The Fifa Club World Cup is scheduled to take place in December.
“Safa will liaise with the government regarding the return of fans to the stadiums that is a prerequisite for hosting the Club World Cup. For SA to host the Club Fifa World Cup, the nation needs to reach the 70 percent vaccination threshold.
“SA is currently red-listed by Great Britain where European champions Chelsea will come from, another possible hindrance to the process. Therefore, the NEC resolved that they will not be pursuing the matter of hosting this event.
“With regards to fans returning to the stadiums, the NEC resolved that football should play a major role in the vaccination drive.
“Safa NEC members will have to be vaccinated and show the vaccination certificates, failure of which one would have to produce a recent negative Covid-19 results whenever they attend meetings.
“Everyone attending Safa meetings and events including the support staff should also be vaccinated. These include all players playing in the Safa competitions, referees, coaches and everyone involved.
“Those that do not meet the requirements will not be allowed to participate in any football events. The deadline for this drive is October 30, 2021.
“Meanwhile, only fans that are vaccinated will get free entry into the forthcoming Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup match between SA and Ethiopia, scheduled to take place at FNB Stadium on October 12.
“Safa’s special member, the NSL, has resolved to use the Soweto Derby to also encourage mass vaccination drive.”