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South Africa: Bafana Bafana’s blackmail embarrasses Confederations Cup organisers
They demand huge sums of money for every match
With only five days before Confederations Cup in South Africa kicks off, players for the host’s have embarked on an embarrassing training boycott as they are demanding between R30m and R35m” for participating.
Reports say players are locked in a series of meetings with management after they suddenly reneged on an earlier bonus agreement they had with South Africa Football Association (Safa) and demanded substantially more than what was originally agreed on.
Players are said to be demanding R1,5m each if they win the tournament and they want it to be shared among the 23-member squad.
“What is happening here in camp is really unbelievable. They want nearly R200 000 in the group stages and the figures are then supposed to continue to climb up as they progress in the tournament” Safa official is quoted saying.
Safa CEO Raymond Hack told the media that they would not entertain the Bafana Bafana’s “embarrassing demands on the eve of a major tournament that SA is hosting”
“Bonuses were concluded with them and they never expressed any problems,” Hack said. “So as far as I am concerned there is no problem and it is business as usual. Obviously they want something and they are now going this route to try and get it.”
Reports say the players have been holding meetings since the camp began three weeks ago and they were only waiting for their names to be confirmed in coach Joel Natalino Santana’s final squad.
Santana initially announced a 30-member provisional squad last month that was eventually trimmed to 23 players last week, none of them could make demands on Safa as they were not guaranteed selection.
However, soon as the final list was confirmed last Thursday, the meetings began in earnest with “late-night discussions at the team’s camp at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown”.
The embarrassing episode has served only to throw Bafana into disarray and it remains to be seen if the team can refocus in time for Sunday’s opening Confederations Cup match against Iraq at Ellis Park.
They are not world-beaters to begin with and the stand-off could be costly to Santana’s hopes of at least securing a semifinal place.
The episode will also embarrass SA as it is taking place before the eyes of the world media who are in the country for the Confederations Cup.