Women’s League players set to miss out from the sports department's Sector Relief Fund
The majority of footballers who play in the Safa National Women’s League face the possibility of missing out from the Department of Sports’ COVID-19 Sector Relief Fund.
Last month sports minister Nathi Nthethwa committed R150 million to assist athletes who were confirmed to participate at events that have been cancelled or postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Athletes were asked to produce proof of their cancelled events by the closing date of April 6‚ 2020 to stand a chance to qualify‚ but an overwhelming majority of players in the Women’s League are set to miss out due to their amateur status.
South African Football Association (Safa) acting chief executive Gay Mokoena said they have applied for relief from government for players and people who are not employed on a full-time basis by Safa.
“We have applied for national team players and other people who are not employed on a full-time basis at Safa and elsewhere‚” said Mokoena.
“We have applied for members of the technical staff who are not full-time at Safa but only come when there are camps‚ and referees who are not employed elsewhere.
"We couldn’t apply for permanent coaches like Molefi Molefi‚ who is the coach of Bafana Bafana‚ and Desiree Ellis‚ who is the coach Banyana Banyana‚ because they are on the payroll of Safa.
"There are some Banyana Banyana players who play in the Sasol League and the National Women’s League‚ those we have claimed for them.”
Mokoena said given the qualification criteria for the funds‚ they would have committed fraud had they applied for players who do not draw a salary from Safa.
“We didn’t apply for Women’s National League players because in our books they are not paid‚ otherwise we will be committing fraud‚" he said.
"But their clubs can apply for them if they pay them‚ if I look at the rules of the fund.
"First of all it‚ this is an amateur league where we don’t enforce payments and so forth.
"I am aware that some of the teams pay these players‚ from a Safa point of view we couldn’t apply for those players because we don’t even know how much they earn.
“The discussion is now that perhaps the teams should apply because they are the ones who are playing the salaries.
"For all those people who we pay direct remuneration fees or commissions and they have been affected‚ we have applied for them.”
Chairmen of First Touch FC from Limpopo and Coal City Wizards of Witbank‚ who plays in the Women’s League‚ said they have not applied for relief for their players.
“To be honest‚ I don’t know anything about the relief fund and as a result I have not applied.
"Now that you have brought it up‚ I will try to contact the department to see if they can’t help us even though it may be late‚” said First Touch owner Philemon Kekana.
Owner of City Wizards Mabu Moroaswi said: “I tried to get information before the lockdown so that I can apply for my players but I didn’t succeed.
"Our players are affected by this suspension of the league and I hope that government can do something for us.”
Source: TMG Digital.