Abdul Tajoodien interviewed by Glenn Chauke, 19th May 2021.

As youth and amateur football returns this month, local football associations (LFA’s) prepare for a season in a COVID-19 environment. In part two of this three part series, we look at Rygate Football Association and how they’ve prepared to welcome clubs to the new season under special conditions.

The LFA (Local Football Association) is one of the big footballing revelations in the local scenes, since its inception in 1924. The organisation is still growing in limps and bounds in discovering and developing talent.


Left to Right: Abdul Tajoodien, Vice-chairman of Rygate LFA next to President of Rygate LFA, Faizel Samaai

Preparations under 'the new norm'

The LFA under the SAFA Cape Town metro has 35 LFA’s under its umbrella and provides immediate football development to the communities but it could not have been much harder to continue with this 97 year old tradition with the sudden interruption by the Covid-19 pandemic. We caught up with Abdul Tajoodien, the vice-chairman of Rygate Football Association to discuss their LFA’s preparation under the restricted world of COVID-19.

“When we allowed back under level one to resume football at amateur level we ran a test drive, bringing in the club with their managers and we do screening and the sanitising as the teams enters the facility that is allocated, where they prepare for the match for the under 6,8,10,12,14,16,18 and the seniors”, said Tajoodien.

He then added, “It wasn’t easy because it is now called a new norm but we have held our compliance workshops, we held three prior returning to the football field where we had scenarios of how to deal with situations when we return to the football pitch”.

Apadating under COVID-19

The pandemic has financially hit many organisations around the world and it’s no exception to the LFA. Without much financial backing the LFA has to cover the costs of all the protective gear, the wellness of the players and staff, and members involved.

“To understand that we have 4000 juniors and that is not an easy task to cover the cost of those juniors and clubs need to make provision and there was no contact registration so everything had to be online, so it was really challenging in trying to educate and instil those principles that clubs need to follow, so it became a very costly exercise.”

“We have no sponsors, the LFA or the clubs have no sponsors but some clubs applied for the Lotto grant… we as a LFA took it upon ourselves [to] provide sanitisers, scanners to scan our players”

Educating players

The responsibility of developing players, not only for football but for adulthood, lies on the shoulders of the LFA and the clubs. Rygate LFA has been able to merge the education and football under one umbrella.

“What we do at the tournaments is we invite all the stakeholders, education professionals and hold these workshops under one umbrella where they interact with universities to educate and advice about what the player can be able to do after the professional career.”

Rygate LFA clinched the SAFA Inter-LFA tournament for the U14 and U16 prior to the disruption of football caused by the global pandemic last year.

The Rygate FA 2021 season kicks off 22nd May 2021.

Executive Committee:

President Faizel Samaai

Vice President: Abdul Tajoodien

Vice President: Dawood Johannes

Secretary: Baderoeniesa Jordan

Treasurer: vacant

Rygate Football Association online:

COMING SOON LFA’s return to football. Part 3: Cape District Football Association

We want to hear from you.

Connect with us on social media.