Looming Bafana Bafana strike averted as SAFA finally pays bonuses

Looming Bafana Bafana strike averted as SAFA finally pays bonuses

A looming strike in the Bafana Bafana camp over unpaid match bonuses that threatened even the boycott of Saturday’s international friendly match against Namibia has been averted.

SABC Sport has learnt that the South African Football Association (SAFA) was forced to pay the outstanding match-winning bonuses today to avoid the boycott and players coming out to speak on these matters.

Bafana head coach Hugo Broos confirmed to SABC Sport before the team’s final training session this afternoon at Orlando Stadium, that everything has now been sorted out and players are concentrating on the game.

The outstanding match bonuses relate to the recent matches Bafana have won including the hard-fought and famous 2-1 win over 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinalists Morocco in an African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in June.

Bafana players get paid R60 000 for a win and R30 000 for a draw, this is for both international friendly and official matches.

For major tournaments the team has qualified for, a bonus package scheme is negotiated between the team’s senior players and the SAFA management.

This follows just two months after the Banyana Banyana players also boycotted their sendoff match against Botswana on the eve of their departure for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia, as they were also fighting for the conclusion of their tournament bonuses and protesting against playing the match against Botswana at an unsatisfactory Tsakane stadium.

“It’s not the first company that is lacking cash flow, this happens but, in such situations, communication is very important, and this was not the case here.

“The communication was not good and the players were not happy and we decided to have the meeting. The SAFA CEO (Lydia Monyepao) and the Chief Financial Officer (Gronie Hluyo) came to the meeting and there was no immediate solution, I have to be honest.

“But I can assure you that this morning the problem was solved, the players will be paid but going forward we will have to learn this and the communication has to be better and there will be no problem anymore,” explained Broos.

With Bafana Bafana heading to the AFCON in Ivory Coast in January 2024 and also starting the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in November, SAFA would be advised to sort these outstanding bonuses issues before they derail the plans of the team.