World Cup bonuses a matter of public interest

2010-06-14 10:24

One of the lessons local football officials need to learn from the

visiting World Cup teams is transparency when it comes to figures, writes Elijah


“It was agreed ­between the players, us and Safa that we will not

reveal the figures to anyone.”

This statement by soccer agent Tony Irish, who represented Bafana

Bafana players in negotiations for World Cup bonuses, certainly doesn’t taste

like Irish coffee to any tongue.

It has proved a mission for the media to establish exactly how much

Bafana players will be getting in appearance fees and performance bonuses for

representing the 44-million South Africans at the World Cup.

In stark contrast, most international sides arriving in the country

did so on the back of reports in their native countries of how much they will be

raking in for carrying their countries’ hopes.

One of the most significant aspects of the game local football

authorities need to learn is that disclosing figures is in the public


After all, they are the national team, not a private squad.

How much players earn is a matter of public interest in South

Africa, just like in other countries.

What harm would knowing that each Bafana player will be getting

R4 million and a Mercedes-Benz if they win do?

We are not asking to know players’ salaries – something which is

also public knowledge in other countries.

All the public wants to know is how much will the players

representing them be paid.

This secretive tendency is even more prevalent among Premier Soccer

League club officials.

A few weeks ago, we did a story on how much SuperSport United

players receive during their club’s end-of-the season awards ceremony.

Imagine the shock when Mazolman Skhosana uttered through his

infamous dental structure that such was not to be revealed to the public.

On the same story, Kaizer Chiefs’s Bobby Motaung refused to divulge

how the R4.25 million Telkom Knockout windfall was split between the club and


Perhaps the two – and other secretive officials – should take a

leaf from Roger de Sa’s book.

The Nedbank Cup final whistle had barely been blown when the

Students coach publicly announced that his players were set to get at least half

of the R6 million loot they had won.

Soccer officials need to know that while they don’t want to go the

easy, transparent way, scribes will always use other means to get the


There’s an old saying in Sepedi: “kgogo le ge o ka e tima meetse o tla bona e nwele” (even if you do not give a chicken water, it will drink nonetheless).

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