SAFA WANTS R5 MILLION FROM FIFA
Invoice to be sent to football’s world governing body for botched World Cup qualifier against Senegal
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.
CONTENT Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble