An aspirant for South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) presidency has vowed to transform and use sports as one of the national institutions to reconcile and unite people.
Augustino Maduot Parek, a former general in South Sudan army (SSPDF) and police service unveiled his manifesto prior to calls for submission of candidatures to the electoral committee.
He previously served as the head of the country's immigration department.
Parek, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, said he intends to use football to promote and facilitate development through sustainable infrastructure and training initiatives.
He vowed to engage in proactive dialogue with government to generate partnership that recognizes football as a national institution that aspires to heal and bridge political and social differences.
The former South Sudanese army general with fanatical soccer proclivity said he hopes to transform SSFA into a stable, progressive, and innovative institution envisioned to uphold integrity in its conduct with the view of using it to advance the country's desire to ascend to the global soccer stage, including hosting major tournaments and events for the East and Central Africa region and Africa as a whole.
This goal, according to a statement issued by Parek, would be achieved through promotion of the presence of the associations and clubs at the lower levels to encourage and support the development and teaching of sporting activities at primary schools, up the tertiary levels, using community-based clubs and teams.
The campaign team pushing for former general's candidature say he has a good vision to transform the country's soccer, pointing to a strategy aimed at providing a useful way of creating an environment in which people can come together to work towards the same goal, show respect for others and share space and equipment.
All these aspects, according to Parek's campaign team, are crucial to peace-building processes and are programs aimed at ‘bridging divides' in the country by using soccer to bring communities together.
Analysts, however, argue that if it is well managed, football could become the platform through which most participants express fewer tribal and regional slurs and stereotypes compared to other institutions susceptible to ethnic incubation of hate and polarization.
SSFA was established in April 2011 and is an affiliate of the Confederation of East and Africa Football Association (CECAFA), Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), SSFA governs football in the country. In club football, SSFA oversees the Football Championship, Premier League, National Cup and Super Cup.
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