Pay up our R8m or else we pull team out of world champs – ASA

2011-06-18 19:14

Athletics South Africa (ASA) could be forced to pull its team out of this year’s IAAF World Championships if it doesn’t get about R8 million in an outstanding lottery grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

The funds have been outstanding from last season.

ASA is not sure it will be able to send a team to the prestigious global track and field event in Daegu, Korea, from August 27 to September 4.

“We can either send the team to the championships or get insolvent as we are already spending money from our main account,” ASA track and field chairperson James Evans told City Press this week.

“Sascoc (the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) had told us to open a new account in order to receive the money since ASA was under its (Sascoc) administration but nothing has happened since November last year.”

In its response Sascoc said there was still outstanding documentation that the athletics mother body should have submitted with its application for funds.

“There was an expenditure of about R2 million on an events company that ASA must justify,” said Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy midweek.

But Evans said his organisation had forwarded all the required paper work.

“They are being economical with the truth. We have submitted every document they needed and we were eventually told that we would get the amount in two splits of R6 million and R2 million because we emphasised the importance of sending the team to the world championships.”

The Cape Town-based attorney, who is also the chair of the ASA board, warned that the funds in the federation’s primary coffers wouldn’t last until the end of the year.

He said ASA’s main account had funds that had been generated through sponsorships and television rights.

“We have already used about R400 000 to send our team to the World Youth Championships (from July 6 to July 10 in Lille, France). This is the money that is supposed to pay salaries and run the office,” he said.

“Right now we can’t even book air tickets for our athletes to the senior world championships. What do we do? We will have no alternative but to pull the team out of the championships if this issue is not resolved.”

Sascoc president Gideon Sam, who also chairs the national lottery board, could not be reached as he was out of the country on an International Olympic Committee inspection mission in Australia and Sri Lanka. 

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