Bafana count Afcon losses

2015-02-01 15:00

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Bafana Bafana have forfeited around R20?million in bonuses after bombing out in the first round of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Equatorial Guinea.

Each player in the 23-member squad was guaranteed close to R1?million if the team won the 16-nation tournament.

A place in the quarterfinals was worth R100?000, with the same monetary motivation on offer to reach the semifinals.

Before the start of Afcon, City Press learnt through various sources within the team and national administrator Safa that the parties had agreed on a bonus structure of R80?000 for a win and R40?000 for a draw – with no incentive for a loss – in the group stages. Therefore, team members have taken home only R40?000 apiece as a bonus for the draw against Senegal.

The squad received nothing for the two losses – the embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Ghana on Tuesday that sealed their exit from the contest and the 3-1 loss at the hands of Algeria in the opening match.

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble yesterday would not comment on the incentives.

“Talking about money and when you need to represent your country at the same time is not on the same level.

“I just don’t want to talk about that, but you are on the right ball path,” Mumble told City Press during the team’s arrival at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday.

At the previous Afcon finals, which South Africa hosted two years ago, players were promised a R1.2?million bonus each if they lifted the trophy, but Bafana was knocked out in the quarterfinals.

At the Ghana edition in 2008 – the last time Bafana qualified without automatic admission as hosts – each player was guaranteed a R500?000 bonus if they won the tournament. This was broken down to R65?000 to qualify for the quarterfinals, R90?000 to reach the semifinals, R135?000 for the final and R210?000 to win the tournament.

Players also received daily allowances of $100 (about R700 each at the time).

Then, Bafana drew two games and lost once before exiting the competition in the first round, also finishing bottom of the group behind Senegal, as was the case in Equatorial Guinea this year.

Money aside, the national soccer team will prepare for the 2017 Afcon and the Fifa World Cup qualifiers later this year.

The global tournament takes place in Russia in 2018 and the qualifying draw will take place in Saint Petersburg in July.

The Confederation of African Football will unveil the 2017 Afcon hosts in April after war-torn Libya pulled out.

In chasing their dream to Russia, African teams will go through three preliminary phases to determine the 20 teams that will go through to the fourth round.

The 20 teams will then be divided into five groups of four to play home-and-away round robin matches and the top nation in each group will earn a place at the global showpiece.

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