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Wenger Set To Help SA Development Vision

Legendary former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be arriving in South Africa within the next few weeks, South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan has confirmed.

Wenger who has since taken up a role with FIFA after ending his managerial career with the Gunners is set to share his knowledge on development, and grassroots programs and plow some of his extensive coaching knowledge during his visit to the country.

The 72-year-old Frenchman, formally, holds the Chief of Global Football Development title at FIFA is likely to be assisting after SAFA signed up for the world football governing body’s first Talent Development Programme.

Wenger, who wrote a report on each FIFA member association on their global competitiveness and the invite from SAFA, is targeted at potentially mapping out a plan on how to rebuild the national teams from youth level – to senior level which has been in a notable decline.

“Well, he’s on his way, the next thing of course for FIFA, is the FIFA congress, which is in Kigali Rwanda on 18 March, and there Gianni Infantino will be elected for a third-term, he’s unopposed, then we’ll have further discussions with Arsene Wenger there,” Jordaan said at the Sandton Convention Centre on Thursday afternoon.

“I think after a week or two after that, we will see him in our country, we had this conversation, we must just finalise the dates, we will probably finalise it when we meet in Kigali.

“He is keen to come out here and I’m sure we’re all looking forward [to that], we also spoke to other key players in FIFA to bring them also – so you will have an opportunity to engage them – we are working on that.”

It marks an exciting proposition in the country with development programs for coaching and youth sectors amongst the main issues plaguing South African football – as the first building block of the newly implemented ‘Vision 2030’.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.