Zizi Kodwa throws shade at Safa over bonus incentives saga
Sports minister Zizi Kodwa has urged other sports federations to learn from SA Rugby Union (SARU) on how to handle bonuses for players ahead of major tournaments.
Kodwa lauded SARU for demonstrating leadership that should serve as inspiration for other federations, saying the bonuses for the Springboks were resolved way before the Rugby World Cup started in France.
The minister was speaking at the OR Tambo International Airport during the welcoming of Springboks from France, where they won the Rugby World Cup after beating New Zealand 12-11 in the final on Saturday.
“You can see how structured and organised SARU is. I mean, the issues of bonuses were resolved not on the doorsteps of the tournament [but] way before that,” Kodwa said. “I hope other federations will be able to learn from this.
“You can only wish that other federations get inspiration. I think it is that kind of leadership that is needed by other federations where you don’t have to deal with those issues at the door of the tournament and affect the performance of the players.”
In July, the national women’s football team, Banyana Banyana, were involved in an embarrassing standoff with Safa over bonuses on the eve of their departure to the Women’s World Cup.
The saga, which saw players boycott a friendly match ahead of their departure to New Zealand, was saved by donations from Motsepe Foundation, who donated R6m, and the National Lottery, who contributed R2m towards the players’ payments.
“I think we are comparing apples and bananas if you asked what we said about the other national teams compared to rugby,” Kodwa said when asked if he was going to give the rugby players bonuses.
“The president [Cyril Ramaphosa] last night [Monday], as part of recognition, declared the 15th of December a public holiday,” he said.
SARU president Mark Alexander said they plan their bonuses in advance, hence they don’t experience problems before major tournaments.
“We have winning bonuses that we plan for four years in advance,” Alexander said. “So, they [players] are taking care of that ... and that we do from World Cup to World Cup.”
Meanwhile, the Springboks received a heroes welcome at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday morning, with thousands of South Africans coming in their numbers to welcome them.
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