Bafana Bafana

Coronavirus | Cash-strapped SAFA's plea for help

Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)
Danny Jordaan (Gallo Images)

South Africa's two major soccer bodies find themselves in contrasting financial situations amid the lockdown of the coronavirus scourge.

While cash-strapped SAFA has appealed to both the Government and FIFA for assistance, the trillion-rand PSL is riding the accompanying pandemic storm with confirmation that Absa Premiership clubs will continue to receive their monthly R2 million grants from the League.

The financial plight of the controlling body of South African soccer and the professional soccer bodies' life-saving bestowments to their clubs exist as both bodies await with more than a little anxiety the next declaration by President Ramaphosa as to when, if and how soccer in the country can resume.

A PSL official admitted that without the cash payments from the League, "80 percent of our clubs would need to drastically cut down on their present planning and squad composition - or go out of business altogether".

"But," he added, "presently our sponsorships and other financial dealings have left us with a solid foundation to weather the crisis in the immediate future - although, of course, matters will obviously become more difficult for all the sporting and other aspects of life in the country if matters are not normalised to some degree pretty soon."

But for SAFA the stark dilemma of securing a degree of financial stability is already staring them in the face - and matters will become worse if the pleas for both Government and FIFA assistance go largely unheeded because both have a myriad of other financial commitments to sort out the same time.

SAFA, in the first instance, are entrusted with the task of managing the vast segment of amateur football in the country and their financial situation was considered suspect even before the virus epidemic as some sponsorship negotiations and came to nought.

An example of this was the national body's impasse at one point in securing deals for the televising of Bafana Bafana games, thereby leaving the country frustrated at being deprived of this essential service.

And the appeals to the Government and FIFA for assistance tells a story in itself.

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