SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan has hailed the upcoming World Football Summit Africa as a game-changer.
Jordaan, who will be among the key speakers at the summit which will run from March 17 to 18 in Durban, said: “This is a great opportunity where decision-making stakeholders will come under one roof and discuss nothing but football. The fact that this summit is coming to Africa for the first time since its inception, means Africa as a continent must take advantage [of it] and find ways to take the sport to the next level.”
Jordaan is among the high-level speakers who have been lined up for the inaugural summit. Other confirmed speakers are Fifa secretary-general Fatma Samoura, LaLiga president Javier Tebas, Argentina legend Juan Sebastián Verón, as well as Bafana Bafana’s own icons Benni McCarthy and Sibusiso Zuma.
“Football as a sport and business is undergoing massive changes and Africa as a continent must embrace the ever-changing models in order to grow and not to be left behind,” added Jordaan.
The summit, in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, is the first stage of the 2020 series, which will then head to Kuala Lumpur in July and to Madrid, Spain in September.
Jordaan, who was the 2010 Fifa World Cup chief executive, said since Africa hosted the World Cup the continent had grown as an equal partner of the global game and must utilise global events such as the world football summit to reinvent itself.
Said World Football Summit director Jan Alessie: “Africa is a continent where there is a passion for football like few others and we believe that behind this passion and truly genuine way of experiencing sport, there are great business opportunities that can benefit both the companies involved in this sector and the general population. With the launch of World Football Summit Africa, we hope to contribute to the strengthening of an industry that benefits all of society. Safa and its president [Jordaan] have played a key role in growing football in the region, that’s why we are honoured to count on their support and to have Jordaan as a speaker”.