SAFA to benefit from FIFA’s increased grant from next year

Cash-strapped South African Football Association (Safa)‚ without a television deal for the national teams‚ will welcome the R29m financial windfall from FIFA who are increasing the money they hand to member associations from next year.

FIFA’s Council have approved larger handouts for the member associations‚ most of whom are now dependent on handouts from world football’s governing body to keep going because of the absence of sponsorship and decreasing state support.

Safa‚ and all the other FIFA members‚ will now be given US$2-million every year in funds which amounts to R29m at today’s exchange rate.

It is an increase of R4.7m annually on the previous sum and comes as FIFA president Gianni Infantino seeks re-election next year.

FIFA allows Safa to spend some R14.3m on operational costs each year but says the rest of the money must go to pre-determined development projects.

In South Africa’s case‚ the new development centre at Fun Valley has been paid for from the FIFA funds.

FIFA has warned its member associations that the money must be accounted for and they have promised better policing‚ although in practise these past warnings have not yielded much.

A FIFA statement said: “Accountability for funds allocated will be further strengthened‚ with even stricter auditing and reporting measures. For example‚ each member association or confederation will have to engage the services of a statutory auditor and will be subject to a central audit review undertaken by an independent‚ high-profile‚ international auditing company.”

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