The South African Football Association’s (Safa) national executive committee (NEC) has resolved not pursue the bid to host the 2021 Fifa Club World Cup.
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Safa had earlier indicated that they are looking to bid for the competition to be held in South Africa, with Safa president Danny Jordaan holding talks with Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, and secretary general, Fatma Samoura recently, over a bid to host the competition in December.
In a statement released by Safa on Saturday, the association cited the slow processing of vaccine and the government’s decision to barring of fans from the stadiums as the reason to come to the conclusion to not bid to host the Club World Cup.
“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,” read the Safa statement.
The Safa NEC also 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 the 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 30 October 2021.”
Meanwhile, only fans that are vaccinated will get free entry into the forthcoming Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup match between South Africa and Ethiopia that is scheduled to take place at FNB Stadium on 12 October.
“On the same breath, SAFA’s Special Member, the NSL has resolved to use the Soweto Derby to also encourage mass vaccination drive.
The more the people are vaccinated the more the economic opportunities are opened for those selling their products. Taxi drivers who take fans to the stadiums will also be encouraged to vaccinate and football will engage various taxi associations to work together,” concluded the Safa statement.