Bafana Bafana’s friendly match against eSwatini at FNB Stadium on Friday came close to not taking place as players were furious about owed monies, sources told iDiski Times.
According to this publication’s sources, it is why the players gave an uninspiring performance as financial issues are rearing their ugly heads yet again at the association.
Players are said to be not happy, as they had not yet been paid for last month’s friendly matches against Namibia and DR Congo.
“SAFA has no money and players were furious, hence they gave a subdued performance,” said the insider.
However, this publication reached out to a senior member of the squad who denied their on-field performances were due to the bonus row.
“We beat Morocco without getting our match bonus, we beat DR Congo without match bonuses, the draw against eSwatini was an off day, nothing more,” the player stated.
Even in September, Broos told reporters that there were financial issues at the association after Bafana qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations finals (AFCON) in March.
Money issues at SAFA are starting to appear yet again after they were also in disagreement with Banyana Banyana regarding bonuses until the goodwill of the Motsepe Foundation came in at the last minute to rescue the situation to pledge R6 million after the players refused to play a friendly against Botswana before the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
SAFA were also grateful as ITHUBA came on board to pledge R2-million to the ladies, while the other money came from FIFA as a reward for reaching the World Cup round of 16, the first senior football team to do so in South Africa.
“There was a meeting that took place on Friday between the players and the association, but I don’t know what transpired and what was agreed upon,” said another insider.
Bafana, at the moment, are in Ivory Coast to face the 2023 AFCON hosts in another friendly match which they mulled the possibility of boycotting the game but there has been said to have been an agreement reached between the two parties ahead of the trip to Abidjan.
It is not clear what was agreed upon to convince them to play the last friendly match before the 2026 CAF Zone FIFA World Cup qualifiers begin next month and the AFCON finals in January.
It appears more standoffs are expected in the upcoming months between the players and the association ahead of the upcoming AFCON finals, as no agreement has been reached about the biennial tournament’s bonuses.
iDiski Times tried to approach SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao for a comment, but she didn’t reply to messages by the time of publishing.
Story by Robin-Duke Madlala (@duke_robin).