Fifa deals Safa a financial blow

2010-09-26 10:44

Fifa’s decision to open a trust account for World Cup profit is a blow to the South African Football Association (Safa).

If Safa’s annual general meeting was moved so the financial gaps could be closed with the windfall from Fifa, then it has now backfired.

The meeting was postponed from this weekend to the first week of December.

Profit from the World Cup is projected at R1 billion, but Safa is expected to get only R700 million as it took an advance for building Safa House.

Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke said on Thursday that the Organising Committee’s board meeting had decided that they should set up a foundation to look at how the money should be used.

He said Fifa was still balancing its books and was not sure how much the final figures would be.

“Money is still coming from different parts of the world and it is a process to put it together. In the first week of November, President (Sepp) Blatter will come here and, together with President (Jacob) Zuma, will announce the final results,” said Valcke.

He said Fifa might do the same with Brazil in 2014 if there was a need to do so.

He said the trust would be controlled by Safa, Fifa and businessmen, and the sole purpose would be to distribute the loot towards development.

But this could mean that Fifa does not trust football administrators as it did with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) board, which included business people and government ministers.

But Valcke denied the reason could be Fifa’s lack of trust in Safa.

“A trust means we trust them (Safa). The idea is to look after the money that we leave behind and see how best it can be managed. We don’t just want to control, but help and support the local association.”

He said there were many projects that the money could be used for, including legacy projects and football development.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani welcomed the decision, saying it has always been the soccer body’s wish to have a trust account. He said this was a step in the right direction and would benefit football.

“We were the ones who approached Fifa with this idea because we want the money to develop our football,” said Nematandani.

He said they would soon announce the trustee members.

LOC CEO Danny Jordaan said it would not be the first time Fifa had opened a trust account, adding that the same procedure was followed after the US 1994 World Cup and it had benefited the country.

“When I was in the US recently with the Fifa inspection team, I was told they still had a surplus of about $20 million (about R140.4 million) in that trust account and everybody could see the progression of their football since then. South Africa needs comprehensive and thorough programmes focusing on development,” said Jordaan.

Meanwhile, Valcke once again praised South Africa for a job well done, saying Brazil would have to work hard to surpass the 2010 experience in 2014.

He said South Africa had set a new bench- mark from the final draw in Cape Town last year to the World Cup itself.

“This was a unique experience and Brazil has a lot to do. The World Cup will also benefit the whole continent as we have already started with the 20 centres for hope, hence we always say football is more than just a game.”

He said the next World Cup would also offer a new experience as Brazil was known for its soccer-mad people.

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