Safa looks for R20m for Youth Champs

2011-04-09 19:38

The African Youth Championships will go ahead as scheduled from ­Sunday to May 1 ­despite Safa not being sure where the budgeted R20 million will come from.

Initially, Safa president Kirsten Nematandani had told City Press that the budget for the event was between R24 million and ­­
R30 million.

However, acting chief executive Pinky ­Lehoko on Thursday said her ­organisation had managed to cut the budget down to around ­
R20 million.

“We have cut down the budget from R30 million to R20 million. We are in discussion with the government and other stakeholders to determine who will pay what,” said Lehoko.

Safa and Caf were going ahead full steam with preparations amid speculation that the ­tournament was in jeopardy.

Caf have confirmed that South Africa, who were knocked out by Lesotho but were later reinstated into the competition after ­replacing Libya as the hosts, will face Mali in the opening match on Sunday.

By Friday the venues had not been confirmed except that ­Gauteng will be the host province.

Further speculation was that the Rand and Soweto’s Dobsonville stadiums would be venues for the matches.

Lehoko assured City Press that negotiations over the finer ­financial aspects of the ­contest were underway.

She said they had managed to implement some cost-cutting measures to bring down the ­budget.

“We are going to use our own buses rather than hire them to ­ferry the teams. We are still in discussion with the government and other stakeholders to determine who covers what.”

Meanwhile, Caf’s regulations allow them to give up the rights to the organising country in order to cover part of the expenses of the event.

Revenue from TV and broadcasting rights is distributed as follows: 30% to Caf, 20% to the technical development fund, 30% to the eight finalists and 20% to the organising country.

The continental football governing body gets an estimated R100 million a year from telecommunications company Orange.

The French-based firm has the naming rights to all Caf competitions, which includes the AYC.

Asked what South Africa would benefit from hosting the tournament, Lehoko said: “Our hosting will afford our team the opportunity to participate. In addition, if we qualify for the semifinals we automatically qualify for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup.”

Amajita have been reinstated by virtue of being the hosts after they were eliminated by Lesotho in the first round of the qualifiers, ­leading to the sacking of coach Khabo Zondo.

His ex-assistant who is now his ­successor, Maqsood Chenia, has been mandated to get Amajita to qualify for the Fifa World Cup, which takes place in Colombia from July 29 to August 20.

Amajita will meet Cameroon in a warm-up friendly match at ­Lucas Moripe Stadium today at 3pm.


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