Fifa to pick up R5m replay costs
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.