GO to hell
THE South African Football Association has reacted angrily to demands by Bafana Bafana players for a whopping R34million incentive for the Confederations Cup.
Safa has told the players in no uncertain terms to "go to hell".
The mother body also refused to budge on the players' threats to boycott the spectacle that gets under way on Sunday.
Safa is prepared to give the players R14million to share for winning the "Festival of Champions" - and nothing more.
Safa received an annual joint sponsorship of R96million from Absa and Castle Beer.
Bafana Bafana manager Sipho Nkumane said yesterday they would not allow the players to hold the country to ransom.
The players had threatened to boycott a gala dinner held in their honour in Midrand on Monday. They later attended the function after Nkumane addressed them. The players get a daily allowance of R850 and Safa has promised them a bonus of R90000 each for a win in the tournament.
Sowetan can reveal that the players have mandated a committee comprising Aaron Mokoena, MacBeth Sibaya, Matthew Booth and Benson Mhlongo to represent them.
In their counter-offer, presented by the committee to Safa, they say each of the 23 selected players should receive R250000 for being selected for the tournament.
They also want a bonus of R180000 each for a win against Iraq at Ellis Park Stadium on Sunday; New Zealand in Rustenburg on June 17; and Spain in Bloemfontein on June 21.
The players want Safa to pay them R250000 each and R500000 each for a win in the semifinal and final.
They are also demanding R100000 each for every draw.
"We have presented our offer to the players and we consider this matter closed," said Nkumane.
"In my meetings with the players I made it clear that Safa does not have that kind of money.
"We are an amateur soccer body with many projects to run, including development leagues and paying staff as well as booking accommodation and flights for the players and officials.
"I made it clear that those who do not want to accept the offer must say so. I have not heard anything different from any of the selected players.
"Instead, the players told me that they were looking forward to playing and doing well in the tournament. The matter is finalised and closed."
Bafana Bafana players were paid R60000 each during the African Cup of Nations qualifiers and finals in Ghana last year.
This is not the first time Bafana Bafana have threatened to go on strike over bonuses.
It happened on the eve of the 1998 World Cup finals in France; in the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan; in 2004 and 2006 during the Afcon finals in Tunisia and Egypt, respectively.
Captain Mokoena and other committee members could not be reached for comment yesterday.