Augusto Palacios denies getting grant

Augusto Palacios./ Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Augusto Palacios./ Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Augusto Palacios is miffed that he has been branded as a greedy old man who, despite allegedly receiving Covid-19 relief fund from the government, is loaning out money to coaches working at his academy instead of paying them.

Palacios, 68, took the star-studded SA Under-20 national team to the finals of the Under-20 Youth Championships in Ethiopia in 2001.

Palacios and the late Zodwa Khoza established the academy in Mayfair in 2005. The academy has produced some good talent, including Lyle Foster who graduated to Orlando Pirates' first team before being exported to Europe.

All has been well until the national lockdown in March which was caused by the spread of the coronavirus.

Palacios now stands accused of receiving the Covid-19 relief fund, but still loans his coaches money when he should be paying them.

Palacios has vehemently denied receiving any fund. He made it clear yesterday that the academy cannot pay salaries because it is not making any profit.

"I take money from my personal pocket to give them to feed their families. We can't pay them salaries because we are not making money," Palacios said previously.

Safa confirmed he wasn't receiving any funds from them.

"We provide coaches with a stipend to facilitate their travelling and other personal needs in the process," he explained.

"Due to the structure of the academy, we do not employ full-time staff; we have voluntary coaches with no contracts in place.

"The idea is to offer them a platform to coach and prepare themselves for future formal and competitive football."

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