Safa owes second division millions

FUMING: Vardos FC boss Sinky MnisiPhoto: Gallo Images
FUMING: Vardos FC boss Sinky MnisiPhoto: Gallo Images

THE South African Football Association (Safa) allegedly owes second division clubs close to R5-million for the 2012-2013 season.

Though it has been at pains to tell all and sundry that it is in a healthy financial position, the association owes all 144 second division clubs R30000 each and two sets of playing kit each.

The second division, which was sponsored by Vodacom until the 2011-12 season, has 16-team leagues in all nine provinces and is currently being bankrolled by the mother body.

Three sources, Sinky "Twalaza" Mnisi of Vardos FC, Mighty Tjale of Mighty FC and FC Buffalo's Rodney Mashaya, told Sowetan they were now at their wits end after trying countless times to communicate with Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble to resolve the impasse.

The clubs say they were supposed to be paid R15000 each at the end of the first round and the same amount at the end of the season.

They were also supposed to be given two sets of playing kit at the beginning of the fixtures, which most have not received to date. The total amount owed to clubs is R4320000 plus the home and away kit.

Most clubs in this division have no sponsors and are run from the owners pockets, which many feel will lead to the demise of the league.

Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi yesterday acknowledged the clubs have not been paid as yet.

He said: "The association is busy negotiating with a sponsor and we are on the verge of concluding one (sponsorship deal), hopefully soon.

"We also could not issue out the playing kit because it would have disadvantaged the sponsor whose logo should be displayed on the jerseys for marketing purposes."

A fuming Mnisi said: "This has really disturbed us as teams because while it may not seem like a lot of money, it does help a lot towards preparing for matches. We have tried everything, sent letters, e-mails and made phone calls, to no avail. They do not respond or bother to explain why there is a delay. How are they going to finance the looming play-offs where they have to pay for accommodation, food, transport and the grounds?"

Tjale, who is chairman of the board of governors for the Limpopo stream, said they have had numerous meetings with Mumble, but nothing has come of it.

"We had two big companies who wanted to sponsor our league and we needed to get permission from Safa. There was big money involved but we did not get any feedback from the association. In fact, there has been no response to all our correspondence," said Tjale.

This after Safa head honchos were summoned to parliament where they assured everyone that the association was in a healthy financial position on and was not bankrupt, despite reports to the contrary.