PRETORIA: During and after the 2010 World Cup finals, South Africans not blinded to common sense at seeing a sporting and political dream come true demanded to know how the country would benefit in practical terms from the financial bonanza.

Was it all being spirited away by world football federation FIFA into swollen Swiss bank accounts?

Some, certainly. But not all. Proof has finally arrived in the operational launch of FIFA’s Legacy Trust at an inaugural board meeting at the South African Football Association¬† headquarters in Johannesburg.

Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s secretary-general who chaired the meeting, said: “We are very pleased that the Trust is now fully operational. It is the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup that such a trust has been established and it required a complex administrative process, which is why it took us some time to set it up.

“I’m glad that we are now entering a phase that will focus on implementing the vision to ensure that the legacy can benefit the host country.”

The Legacy Trust is intended to support a wide range of public initiatives in the areas of football development, education, health and humanitarian activity, using the game as a tool in South Africa.

In total, R450m has been transferred by FIFA into the Legacy Trust accounts that will be administered by international auditors Ernst and Young. A further R700m was allocated by FIFA as a legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This comprises the R450m and R140m which was given as an advance to Safa in the build-up to the event for preparation purposes and for the construction of SAFA House respectively.

Safa was given R40m for football development projects, and a further R70m for investment in a fleet of buses and cars enabling the 52 regional structures of the association to transport their teams.

SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani said: “From today, we can look forward to the fruits of 2010 being enjoyed at grassroots level and within communities across South Africa.”

Sport and Recreation Director General Alec Moemi echoed his sentiments, saying: “Having hosted such a major football spectacle on behalf of Africa and the world, it is also gratifying to note that this investment is bearing fruit for the country through sport development, education and health via the FIFA Legacy Trust.

“We welcome this boost to raise the standard of living for our people.”

SAFA’s fourth vice-president, Danny Jordaan, was formally appointed as the chairman of the Trust Board.

The other trustees are Nematandani and Eric Mtshatsha; for FIFA, Valcke, Director of Member Associations & Development Thierry Regenass and Head of CSR Federico Addiechi; Alec Moemi and Michael Katz representing business.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust is part of a series of legacy initiatives that have been launched and implemented by FIFA since 2005, consisting of the 20 Football for Hope Centres, the Win in Africa with Africa initiative, the Football for Health project and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Ticket Fund.

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