TENSION is brewing between the South African Football Players' Union and a Cape Town attorney over who should negotiate Bafana Bafana's 2010 World Cup bonuses.
Sowetan has learnt that Safpu were taken aback when they were informed by international body FIFPro that Tony Irish wants to represent Bafana.
Irish, who could not be reached for comment as he is in the US, is chief executive of the South African Cricket Players' Association.
Safpu general secretary Cappy Matutoane said they were the legitimate structure to negotiate with Safa on matters relating to packages for Bafana.
"We had a meeting with Safa chief executive Leslie Sedibe three weeks ago to present a collective bargaining agreement for the players for the World Cup and beyond," Matutoane said.
"You will recall that we have a cooperation agreement with Safa, which was signed by former president Molefi Oliphant in Kempton Park a few years ago.
"Leslie said he was not aware of the agreement but we gave him a copy. He asked us to give him time to study it and promised to get back to us. A few days ago we were surprised when FIFPro referred a letter from Tony Irish to us. This was after he wrote to FIFPro informing them that he would represent Bafana Bafana. FIFPro told Tony that as far as they were aware, there was a democratically elected union to negotiate on behalf of the players in South Africa."
Sowetan was present when Safa, the PSL and Safpu signed a cooperation agreement at the OR Tambo International Airport in 2003.
Matutoane, Safpu president Hareaipha "Simba" Marumo and media officer Elvis Sekgobela were present at the Bafana training session yesterday. Marumo said: "We will be addressing the players on this matter.
"The sooner the matter is resolved, the better for the players to focus on the World Cup."
Irish addressed the players at the Wanderers Hotel in November during the camp for the international friendly game against Jamaica.
Sedibe could not be reached for comment but is set to meet the players' committee - Aaron Mokoena, MacBeth Sibaya, Steven Pienaar and Teko Modise. For now, Safa has promised the players R1million to share for every goal they score in the World Cup.