Eye Radio interviews the Acting Secretary General for South Sudan’s Football Association, Anthony John Loro.
“If we are to follow the CAF and FIFA rules, then we don’t have clubs in South Sudan.”
In 2017, the South Sudan Football Association’s general assembly elected a new board of directors to run the football association affairs and address the challenges facing the body. Eye Radio’s Kelly Abale sat with the Acting Secretary General for South Sudan’s Football Association, Anthony John Loro to discuss challenges facing the federation and the work that’s needed to develop football in the country.
Eye Radio: What are the roles of SSFA?
SSFA: SSFA is the supreme body tasked with overseeing football activities in the country. We joined the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on the 10 February 2012 and FIFA on 25 May the same year. Our work is to make sure football laws are followed by all the stakeholders; Players, Coaches, Referees, and Administrators. It’s not an easy thing with the current situation the country is going through but we shall try our best to build a culture of following the laws of football.
Eye Radio: You have worked in previous administrations and now this one, how do you compare the two administrations.
SSFA: The previous one was not transparent when it came to funds of the federation. For example, when money comes into the association you will not know how it’s disappeared only to realize it went to individuals. But with the new administration, everything is documented and follows the proper procedures. In the other administration the secretary would always be out of the picture but with this administration, the Secretary is given the time to do his work.
Eye Radio: What are the challenges facing the federation?
SSFA: We face a number of challenges as a federation, let me start with the clubs. If we are to follow the CAF and FIFA rules than we don’t have clubs in South Sudan because most of the clubs here are not following the laws. Football clubs are to have the following things before they are granted the permission to participate in any league; a well contracted and maintained football stadium which will be their home ground; women and underage teams; a bank account, including well-documented assets and many others. Therefore, we are just letting this be the way it is because we want to give the young boys and girls a chance to develop their talents. The other biggest challenge facing us is a lack of qualified coaches in the country. CAF rules state that for a coach to lead a team in the first division, he or she should have a CAF C license but most of our coaches don’t have those qualifications. We also have the challenge with some of the journalists who are not professional in the way they report stories about the federation. Lastly, the instability within the country has cost us a lot since we can’t move to the different states to see what they are doing to develop football in their associations. Thus we end up getting rumors.
Eye Radio: What Plans do you have to improve football in South Sudan?
SSFA: We have a lot on the plate for the nation. First, there must be peace because without peace we cannot be able to move to all the states. We plan to renovate some of the stadiums starting with Juba, Wau and the others. There is also a plan to have training for coaches, referees and media houses on how to report on sports in the country which will be facilitated by CAF. There is also plan to have a club administrator on how to manage their clubs affairs.
Eye Radio: In the past administration you had financial problems with monies lost to individuals which led to FIFA suspending Funding to the federation, how has this affected the operations of this administration?
SSFA: You know every organization is run with the money, we have been strained by that ruling from FIFA but thank God this was put to rest. FIFA sent an auditor who came and audited the accounts of the federation and those accounts have been closed and new ones opened so we shall start receiving our funding from FIFA.
Eye Radio: What is your message to football fans in South Sudan?
SSFA: All, I can say to the fans out there, is give us the support because, without the fun support, we are working for nobody. I also pray peace comes back to the country so that we can move on to implement our plans to develop the game of football in South Sudan.