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Jul 27, 2011

Petersen gets top job in South Africa

Robin Petersen, former Premier Soccer League chief executive, has been named the new South African Football Association chief executive. Peterson was in charge of the South African league from October 2000 to December 2001.

His reign is best remembered for the Ellis Park Stadium disaster, which saw 43 people die during a stampede at a league match between Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. The incident remains the worst disaster in South African football history and although no-one was found to be directly responsible for the stampede, mounting pressure led to Petersen's resignation, two months before the end of his contract.

A decade later, Petersen has made a comeback in the country's top football job, succeeding Leslie Sedibe, who held the position for a year. "I am passionate about football development and want to ensure that the right structures are put in place to facilitate it from grass roots level upwards," Petersen said at a news conference in Johannesburg.

Kirsten Nemantandani, SAFA President, said that while Petersen will have responsibility to grow the game, he will also be asked to focus on matters at the top. "One of the things we have asked from him is to make our national teams more competitive," Nematandani said.

Petersen has signed a three-year contract and will start work on Monday, August 1.

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