Bafana offered R1?mln a goal

2010-05-01 00:00

SAFA has offered Bafana Bafana players R1 million for each goal they score during the World Cup, while it backtracked on reported bonuses for officials.

According to reports yesterday, Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe said it was imperative to start with bonus negotiations with Bafana Bafana players while there is still time.

Matthew Booth and Macbeth Sibaya are the ones representing the team during the bonus negotiation process.

Players are still hesitant because they want to know exactly how much they are getting during the tournament in June.

It is no surprise that Safa is taking drastic measures in trying to incentivise goal-scoring for Bafana, as the team’s lack of firepower in front of the net is lengendary.

After a 0-0 draw against North Korea this month, Fifa president Sepp Blatter warned Bafana that if they can’t score they won’t progress past a tough Group A that includes Mexico, Uruguay and France.

Fifa and local organising committee officials have expressed concern that a poor performance by SA and an exit after the group stage would undermine vital local excitement for the June 11-July 11 tournament.

On arrival back from a month-long training camp in Germany yesterday, Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira asked people to “be realistic” about the home team’s chances. South Africa “should not put pressure on our boys. We have to give our best and fight for the country”.

Hundreds of fans blowing vuvuzelas welcomed the team when they landed back in Johannesburg yesterday.

Orlando Pirates midfielder Teko Modise told reporters the team were playing well, but needed to break the goal drought. “I think the one thing we are lacking now is scoring goals. Scoring goals will bring us more confidence,” he said.

Kaizer Chiefs’ midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala agreed: “As a team we’ve been doing well defending and keeping shape, but I think we need to start going more forward and score goals.” SA hope to play friendlies against Bulgaria, Colombia and Denmark in May and early June ahead of the June 11 opening match of the tournament against Mexico.

Meanwhile, Safa yesterday ducked the issue of soccer and government officials being in line for massive bonuses after the event.

While admitting that bonuses would be paid, Safa said it is premature to speculate on how much will be ladled out.

The row broke this week when it was reported that certain officials would pocket millions of rands from an estimated windfall of about R1 billion that Safa could receive from world soccer body Fifa for hosting the World Cup.

In a statement yesterday, Sedibe said the issue of bonuses had not been discussed by his executive and they would only look into the matter after the event.

He said the cost of running the event had overrun the budget by “hundreds of millions of rands”.

“We will sit down and discuss the World Cup and the bonus issue some time in late July, once the World Cup is over.

“The cost overlay of hosting this event to the strict requirements of Fifa has blown the budget by millions. I cannot give exact figures but we are well over budget.

“People are jumping the gun here as, who knows, there may not be a big bonus to share. We will have to wait and see.”

The reports alleged that officials, including former Safa president Molefe Oliphant, stood to gain “millions of rands” in bonuses.

Oliphant stood down at the Safa annual general meeting last September.

He was replaced by Kirsten Nematandani in a fiercely disputed election where one of the favourites to replace Oliphant, Safa vice president Irvin Khoza, lost out.

Reports alleged that the Oliphant-led committee, of which Khoza was a member, voted at a meeting to reward members of the LOC board with 10% of the expected R1 billion windfall from the World Cup.

Top Safa officials would rake in a five percent bonus with the Safa regions also getting five percent.

Said Sedibe: “I note that certain officials have been named in newspaper reports as being the recipients or going to be recipients of massive bonuses from the World Cup. That is not fair on those people as nothing has been finalised …”

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