Fifa to pick up R5m re­play costs

Business Day - - SPORT - Mn­i­nawa Nt­loko

Fifa has agreed to pay a min­i­mum of R5m to the South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) to cover the costs of the tainted 2018 World Cup qual­i­fier that the world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body has asked Bafana Bafana to re­play in Novem­ber.

Bafana Bafana beat the Sene­galese 2-1 in Polok­wane in Novem­ber 2016‚ but the re­sult has since been tainted af­ter ref­eree Joseph Lamptey was found to have ma­nip­u­lated the out­come of the en­counter.

The con­tro­ver­sial Ghana­ian of­fi­cial re­ceived a life­time ban from Fifa and, while the foot­ball gov­ern­ing body con­firmed it had es­tab­lished no wrong­do­ing on the part of SA‚ Bafana were nev­er­the­less or­dered to re­play the match.

Safa CEO Den­nis Mum­ble said Fifa has promised to pick up the bill for the match and the costs could es­ca­late be­yond the min­i­mum R5m cap set by the lo­cal foot­ball gov­ern­ing body.

“They [Fifa] have con­firmed to us that they will pick up the tab of that match that was played on Novem­ber 12 2016‚” Mum­ble said. “They re­alise that we were not at fault and these are wasted costs for us.

“For any in­ter­na­tional match‚ it de­pends on the venue and lo­ca­tion‚ but it’s a min­i­mum of R5m that we spend to put a Bafana match to­gether.”

Mum­ble said that, in terms of the rules‚ vis­it­ing teams are re­spon­si­ble for trav­el­ling to Jo­han­nes­burg but if the match is in an­other prov­ince‚ then Safa picks up the dif­fer­ence.

“And this match took place in Polok­wane last year and we had to pay the dif­fer­ence‚” he said.

“As far as the ac­com­mo­da­tion ar­range­ments are con­cerned‚ our team is in camp for a week-and-a-half be­fore the match it­self. So, all of those ac­com­mo­da­tion costs and other lo­gis­tics, we have to pay.”

The match will be re­played in Novem­ber on a date that Safa was plan­ning to use to host the an­nual Nel­son Man­dela Chal­lenge friendly be­tween Bafana and an op­po­nent that was yet to be con­firmed.

Safa uses the Nel­son Man­dela Chal­lenge match to help raise funds for the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Fund and Mum­ble said the as­so­ci­a­tion would ask Fifa to also con­sider con­tribut­ing to the cause‚ given that they have had to pull the plug on that char­ity match to ac­com­mo­date the re­play.

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