SAFA WANTS R5 MIL­LION FROM FIFA

In­voice to be sent to foot­ball’s world gov­ern­ing body for botched World Cup qual­i­fier against Sene­gal

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

The South African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) will send a hefty in­voice amount­ing to more than R5 mil­lion to Fifa for costs in­curred for the now botched World Cup qual­i­fier against Sene­gal in Novem­ber.

The bill will in­clude a R1.5 mil­lion claim for the Nel­son Man­dela Foun­da­tion.

This was re­vealed to City Press by chief ex­ec­u­tive Dennis Mum­ble.

De­spite this lat­est devel­op­ment, there are still ques­tions over the de­ci­sion by Safa not to ap­peal Fifa’s rul­ing. Safa an­nounced early this week that it would not chal­lenge Fifa’s de­ci­sion on moral and eth­i­cal grounds.

This was de­spite the or­gan­i­sa­tion feel­ing strongly about go­ing ahead with its ap­peal af­ter Fifa’s rul­ing last week.

How­ever, af­ter Monday’s hastily ar­ranged emer­gency com­mit­tee meet­ing, the lead­er­ship changed its tune.

With­out elab­o­rat­ing, the Safa lead­er­ship said it made the de­ci­sion af­ter ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion was re­ceived from Fifa. Ques­tions still re­main on who did what, when, why and how.

What ex­actly is the ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion that made them change their mind?

Why a sud­den change of heart? Is there some­thing that they are hid­ing from South Africans?

How­ever, Mum­ble on Friday in­sisted they were happy with Fifa’s ex­pla­na­tion, which he said was con­fi­den­tial.

“Un­for­tu­nately, we can­not dis­close what Fifa told us, but we are happy with the ex­pla­na­tion about what re­ally hap­pened in that game, par­tic­u­larly in the 41st minute. We took the moral high ground here and agreed to re­play the match be­cause we do not want to be re­cip­i­ents of a cor­rupt out­come,” said Mum­ble.

Safa se­nior le­gal coun­sel Nor­man Arendse will travel to Switzer­land to­mor­row to let Fifa know ex­actly how they feel about the im­pli­ca­tions of the de­ci­sion.

“This de­ci­sion raises ques­tions on pro­ce­dural, statutes and con­sti­tu­tional is­sues as it means the ref­eree’s de­ci­sion is no longer fi­nal. We want to es­tab­lish how we are go­ing to im­ple­ment these de­ci­sions lo­cally. We don’t want it to be a free-for-all be­cause peo­ple could now claim cor­rup­tion even where there is none. These are very se­ri­ous mat­ters for the con­duct of the game in this coun­try,” said Mum­ble.

Ghana­ian ref­eree Joseph Lamptey, who han­dled the match in Polok­wane, re­ceived a life­time ban from Fifa for match ma­nip­u­la­tion. But he is now chal­leng­ing the de­ci­sion in the Swiss courts.

Mean­while, Mum­ble said he was still in the process of quan­ti­fy­ing the costs, but ex­plained that it would not be less than R5 mil­lion.

Mum­ble said that, as a re­sult of the re­play against Sene­gal, Bafana would not be able to hon­our their com­mit­ment of play­ing the Nel­son Man­dela Chal­lenge in Novem­ber. This could see them fail to meet their com­mit­ment of do­nat­ing R1.5 mil­lion to the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Fund and they would thus in­clude this amount in their claim.

He said the costs would, among other things, in­clude lo­gis­tics, venue, travel, ac­com­mo­da­tion and bonuses.

“We also have to pay the staff and the match bonuses to the play­ers. We can­not say to the play­ers that they must pay back those bonuses – no, they played and they must be com­pen­sated for that.”

He said that, in terms of Fifa’s rul­ing, Bafana would host Sene­gal first be­fore trav­el­ling to Dakar for the re­turn leg.

Mum­ble said the match could be staged at the same venue, Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium in Limpopo, or at Mpumalanga’s Mbombela Sta­dium.

Safa has al­ready con­firmed that Bafana will host Burk­ina Faso at FNB Sta­dium next month.

PHOTO: THEMBA MAKOFANE

CON­TENT Safa chief ex­ec­u­tive Dennis Mum­ble

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