SAFA update on COVID-19 effects on football

Sports Reporter

The SA Football Association (Safa) on Thursday updated the country and SA football fraternity about how the novel COVID-19 scourge has impacted on football both locally and abroad.

In a statement, released on its website and social networks, Safa, under the leadership of its president Danny Jordaan, said international and continental federations like Fifa, IOC, UEFA, CAF should agree that all international final competitions like the World Cup qualifiers, Olympics, Euro finals should be postponed until 2021.

“This is in line with the suggestions from the World Health Organisation (WHO), that international matches should only commence in 2021.”

On the domestic front, Safa said the national football body would be guided by the government under President Cyril Ramaphosa as to when it would be safe to resume domestic competitions. “Domestic leagues in most countries have all been postponed to a future date…”

With the financial impact of the coronavirus lockdown on football being the most crucial aspect affecting the sport as a business, Safa said when considering losses to local football, the organisation must recognise that European clubs and national associations have five major revenue streams while SA football had only two.

“Europe has the following: the UEFA Champions League has total prize money for a club winning all its Champions League matches including the final of R1,6 billion while the European Champions League final itself carries prize money of R80-million. No Federation or Domestic League on the continent carries that amount of money”, said the statement.

“Other revenue streams are match day revenue, which includes ticketing, hospitality and other day services and by far generate millions to the club in their home fixture and this is not the case in South Africa.

“Sale of merchandising outside the stadiums and sports shops all over the world is another major revenue for European clubs. South Africa and African clubs do not have merchandising programme on these massive scales.

“South Africa and African clubs have only two major sources of revenue, explained Safa, sponsorship and broadcasting. The broadcast revenue environment in South Africa has only one significant contributor, Supersport.

“The SA government through Minister of Sport [Nathi Mthethwa] and Fifa has established a programme for relief funding for sports federations.

“The international programmes of Safa have been under pressure because of the Covid-19.

“Fifa has postponed the calendar weeks in March and June to provide for club competitions to complete their season. COVID-19 has also resulted in the postponement of AFCON and World Cup qualifiers. Safa therefore, understands the first priority is to get club football underway as soon as it is possible and await further announcements from the government and Fifa on the way forward.”




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