'No major financial loss due to cancellation of matches',

Gay Mokoena
Gay Mokoena

The SA Football Association (Safa) has not incurred any major losses after Bafana Bafana's match with Sáo Tomé was postponed due to the global coronavirus crisis.

Bafana were scheduled to face Sáo Tomé in back-to-back qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) at the end of the month.

SA were to host the island nation at the FNB Stadium on March 27, with the away leg meant for March 31. This was before CAF declared a suspension of the qualifiers.

At the squad announcement last week, team manager Levy Ramajoe confirmed that the Molefi Ntseki-coached team would travel in a chartered flight as a precaution to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 and would be booked at Pestana Hotel in Sáo Tomé. Further costs to book flights for overseas-based players to the OR Tambo Airport would have also been incurred.

Safa had also announced that the team would stay at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosebank and would train at the Sandton Sports Club.

"We haven't incurred much costs and luckily for us, we had not yet made full payments for some of these expenses because the match was still in two weeks' time," Safa acting chief executive Gay Mokoena told Sowetan.

"We stopped the bookings last week already, so the notice came in good time before we could start spending lots of money."

Yesterday, Safa announced the suspension of all football events under their ambit. With President Cyril Ramaphosa having issued a ban on gatherings of over 100 people, football is much affected.

"On behalf of the National Executive Committee of the South African Football Association, all members of Safa are advised to suspend and/or postpone all football matches and football events that are attended by more than 100 people in the country until further notice," the Safa statement said.

"We will be in contact with the health authorities and we will be reviewing the situation on an on-going basis."

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