Sport

SA women’s clubs to receive cash boost from Fifa

2019-08-18 18:49

Cash incentives await the South African clubs that supplied the players who formed part of Banyana Banyana’s 23-member squad at the recently concluded Women’s World Cup in France.

Through its club benefits programme, Fifa set aside $8.48 million (R130 million) during the global championship as part of its efforts to drive the development of the women’s game.

Safa’s acting chief executive, Russell Paul, confirmed that the clubs would receive the money, but he could not immediately specify how much each would have earned.

Paul, who answered questions from City Press this week via text message as he was on leave, said: “There is a formula that is used to calculate the amounts of money to be paid. I am not sure when the clubs will be paid, but it’s usually two to three months after the event.”

In documents circulated to the various confederations before the start of the tournament, Fifa stated that the amounts would be split 50/50 between the club where the player “is currently registered”, and the club or clubs where the player “spent her formative years between the ages of 12 and 22”.

The model used to distribute the funds, Fifa said, takes into consideration the number of players per club and the number of days each player spent at the tournament, including the two weeks before the opening match.

Fifa calculated that, on a per day basis, each player would earn about $450. Banyana spent 26 days at the tournament following their first-round exit. This works out to about $11 700 per player that will be earned by all the players’ current and former clubs.

The benefit programme has been part of the men’s tournament since the 2010 World Cup, but this year marked the first time that the women’s World Cup adopted it. A total amount of $209 million was paid out to 416 clubs after last year’s World Cup in Russia.

Safa was required, prior to this year’s World Cup, to fill in a form stating each player’s current club and her club history to be part of the programme.

Local clubs confirmed their knowledge of such benefits, adding that there was a complexity involving some players who’d moved to another club before and during the World Cup.

However, Fifa makes provision for cases like this by recalculating the amount according to “the number of days for which each club is releasing the player”.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies football team had the most representatives in the Banyana squad with goalkeeper Andile Dlamini, and players Tiisetso Makhubela and Karabo Dhlamini, while also laying claim to its former player, Rhoda Mulaudzi.

Mulaudzi spent at least five years at Sundowns before she joined Canberra in Australia last year.

The Limpopo-based club Ma-Indies Ladies, along with Bloemfontein Celtic, Tuks and JVW, had two players each in coach Desiree Ellis’ final squad.

Ma-Indies has been in existence for nearly two decades and has been home to veteran defender Noko Matlou as well as Lebogang Ramalepe.

“We have been running this club for almost 20 years and we have never had a sponsor in our history,” said the club’s director, Falaza Mdaka.

“Yes, it will only be a few thousand rand, but the money will help us run the club because we have been doing it out of our own pockets all these years. And it will encourage us to work even harder to produce more players for the next World Cup [in 2023].”

Overseas clubs will also benefit from Banyana’s success through players based abroad – Thembi Kgatlana, Linda Motlhalo (both in China); Jermaine Seoposenwe, Nothando Vilakazi (both in Lithuania); Leandra Smeda (in Sweden); and Ode Fulutudilu (in Spain).

Each of these clubs will receive at least $5 800 as the releasing clubs, with the balance being split among the players’ former clubs, depending on the number of years they spent at each club.

Fifa said the aim of the programme was to reward “clubs that have contributed to the pathway of players who participate in the Women’s World Cup”.

Last year, Absa Premiership club Chippa United was the only South African club to benefit when it pocketed R3 million through its former Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.

Meanwhile, the launch of the Safa Women’s National League is imminent. Details of the eagerly awaited league will be revealed at the Women in Sports Breakfast, organised by Safa, which takes place on Wednesday in Rosebank.


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November 10 2019