The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Wednesday honoured PSL Chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza, PSL Executive Committee member Kaizer Motaung and one of the country’s celebrated football icons, Jomo Sono.
The trio also opened formal trading at 09h00 at the JSE headquarters in Sandton on Wednesday morning.
JSE CEO, Nicki Newtown-King said: “It’s such an honour for us to be able to honour these three legends; Dr Khoza, Mr Motaung and Mr Sono for their contribution to football and the economy of this country.
“Soccer is part of our DNA in this country and these are the fathers of soccer. We must honour and recognise their central role in the manner in which they have been able to carefully guide soccer to be a commercially viable asset of this country. This is something we appreciate as the JSE.”
Premier Soccer League (PSL) Chairman, Dr Khoza thanked the Johannesburg Stock Exchange management and Board for recognising the role played by domestic football in the country’s economy.
“One significant part about the event hosted by the JSE today is that this moment will energize the media in South Africa to begin to write about the business side of football so that we can get people to understand the business side of football because that is something that has not been spoken about,” he said.
“We must be able to sensitize people about the role of football and the value-add it brings in terms of the economy of our country. 30 years ago, our income was R300 000, today it is almost a billion rand – that is something emotional for me because it shows the impact of what has been done by the administrators of the game to sell and promote this product of football.
“Credit must go to all the founding members who bought into the vision many years ago.”
Khoza said it was important for the PSL not to be complacent and remain innovative: “What we are grappling with now, is how we position ourselves. We need to identify the new growth points for football.”
Kaizer Motaung added: “A lot of people do not recognize the role of football in addressing the socio-economic needs of our communities.
A lot of people made sacrifices for this product to be like this today – some of us we were prepared to pay the ultimate price in order for the dream to be fulfilled. Football has achieved a lot against all odds. We all know the history of this country.
“We never had the same opportunities but football managed to build a strong business.”
Jomo Sono concluded: “Growing up in Orlando (Soweto), I never knew that one day I’ll be at the JSE being honoured for my contribution.
“I used to sell apples and peanuts to pay for my education but football has always been part of who I am. Today, football in this country is business – many people can now feed their families from this game.”