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Premiership windfall motivation for NFD clubs

Cosmos owner-coach Jomo Sono.
Cosmos owner-coach Jomo Sono.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The 50% increase in prize money for the upcoming Absa Premiership season has set tongues wagging, with many questioning the exclusion of the National First Division (NFD).

Last week Premier Soccer League (PSL) chair Irvin Khoza announced that the 2019/20 Absa Premiership champions will walk away with a hefty R15m after an increase in the elite league's prize money.

The PSL has long been accused of neglecting the sponsor-less NFD.

Khoza explained why the new increase in prize incentives excludes the second tier.

"The NFD is part of the PSL, but it's not sponsored by Absa. It's Absa, the sponsors of the top league, who increased the money. I hope people can understand that," Khoza explained.

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You would expect the new cash windfall in the first tier to dishearten NFD clubs. But a number of owners of second-tier clubs aim to use the snub as motivation to clinch promotion.

"We are not going to sit and complain. Complaining does not help. This snub encourages us to work even harder so that we gain promotion and stand a chance to benefit from the increase," said Royal Eagles owner Shauwn Mpisane.

"It's a good thing that the champs of the big league will be getting R15m in the new season. This motivates us who are in the NFD to pull up our socks and fight hard to be in the Absa Premiership.

"We are not going to sulk," said Jomo Cosmos owner-coach Jomo Sono.

Even Tim Sukazi, the owner of NFD newbies TS Galaxy, was reluctant to bash the PSL for mainly looking after the first tier.

"It's [good] for our football in general that our top league has become so lucrative in terms of prize money," Sukazi said.

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