SAFA provides clarity over SA's plans to host Afcon and Rugby World Cup
The South African Football Association’s plans to bid for the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations would have to be made financially viable so it would not cost the country‚ Sports Minister Thembelani ‘Thulas’ Nxesi has said.
Addressing Safa’s NEC‚ Nxesi cautioned that Safa might be advised to find sponsors and financial backers should they want to bid for the U-23 Afcon‚ as SA Rugby have done for their 2023 World Cup bid.
Nxesi‚ though‚ appeared confused about the timing of the U-23 Afcon Safa wants to bid for‚ seemingly believing it to be scheduled for 2023 instead of 2019‚ which could present a clash with the Rugby World Cup.
“I am informed that Safa wants to consider hosting the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations. But I’m not sure of the timing‚ because there’s big rugby‚” Nxesi said.
“If Saru wins its bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup‚ it will be difficult to host two big events on one year.”
Safa communications manager Dominic Chimhavi confirmed on Wednesday that the event Safa intends bidding for is in fact the 2019 U-23 Nations Cup.
Nxesi forewarned Safa that in the current economic climate‚ the association would need to source its own strong financial backing for the 2019 U-23 Afcon for the government to back the bid.
“To get the cabinet’s support for the 2023 rugby bid it had to be packaged as an economic bid‚ so that basically it would not require any financial contribution from the fiscus‚” Nxesi said.
“And even then it was a very close call. We had to dig deep to convince the cabinet.
“It’s because of the economic climate. Government is cutting down on a number of departments. Our small budget of R1 billion is also being cut.
“And in the economic climate I cannot see government being prepared to take further risks unless there is something very strong on the table. So it has to be packaged very well.”
Nxesi addressed Safa’s NEC on a broad range of issues.
Among them he confirmed that the Department of Sport and Recreation will institute a ministerial commission of inquiry into the death of two supporters‚ and 17 injuries‚ at the preseason Carling Black Label Cup match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on July 29.