The South African Football Association (SAFA) is racing against time to fix the SAFA Technical Centre. SAFA bought the Fun Valley Resort back in 2015 to transform it into a fully-fledged technical centre. But SAFA’s chief financial officer has revealed that the Association will need a massive R600 million to complete the project.
SAFA always had a dream of building its own technical centre. The centre is intended to house all senior and junior national football teams when they are in camp at any given moment. It will be used for both training purposes and accommodating the teams.
In the long run, this would save SAFA a lot of money without having to worry about bills and other training fields for each team.
According to SAFA’s chief financial officer, Gronie Hluyo, most of the budget to complete the facility will come from FIFA’s project funding.
“The project funding FIFA increased from 2 million per cycle which is per four years to 3 million per four years so in rand terms 2 million is R34 million per cycle which we used to get now we are going to be getting R51 million over a four-year cycle. With the project funding what we plan to do is to use this money to develop the fun valley project, you are aware that we’ve got this property fun valley and we are going to be using the project funding mostly for that,” says Hluyo.
SAFA will be forced to look elsewhere to find the extra funding to complete its technical centre.
“For us to complete the full project when we did our estimate about five years ago we needed R600 million so that’s quite a lot of money and to be frank we don’t have R600 million lying around but we are going to try and get funders so that we can complete the project. But we have done quite a lot at the Fun Valley for those who have had an opportunity to get there; you would see that there have been a lot of improvements there. What we have done so far is – one, we’ve upgraded the rooms so that our teams can stay there comfortably,” Hluyo adds.
South Africa’s football controlling body reportedly paid R65 million to buy the 38-hectare property in the south of Johannesburg. The fully functional technical centre will also have a hotel.
“At least the centre is now usable. You know the teams can stay there and they can also play there. But I must say there’s still a lot to be done and funding is the constraint. So, we are trying to get as much financial support as we can. I say FIFA is giving us money for projects and we are going to use that. We are also approaching some with that project and corporates who can assist us with that project and government which should also be able to assist us here. But it’s a huge project and we hope that soon we will have funding and then we will be able to complete it,” Hluyo elaborates.
Back in 2006, SAFA managed to build its own headquarters – SAFA House near Nasrec. The next project was to get the SAFA Technical Centre up and running.
The SAFA House project was funded by world football’s controlling body FIFA, and the building served as the headquarters of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee.