The 23-man Bafana Bafana squad selected for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations are finally pleased with their bonus settlement with the South African Football Association (Safa).
According to national team captain Ronwen Williams, all parties have agreed to a deal that is to everyone’s satisfaction ahead of the kick-off of the continental showpiece. A lot of discussions have been held in recent weeks, regarding the players’ remuneration packages, following Banyana Banyana’s spat with Safa ahead of their Fifa Women’s World Cup trip last year.
However, it appears that Safa have avoided a similar issue this time around by handing Bafana an acceptable payment structure after a turbulent last 12 months. Speaking to the media on Tuesday in Johannesburg, Williams confirmed the team’s satisfaction and switched focus to matters on the pitch.
“We are happy, we had the discussions, long discussions but we signed the agreement two days ago. The team is happy, the technical team is happy and the president is happy, so there’s not much to say about that.”
Following the agreement, there had been confusion regarding the detailed amounts of the agreements, with reports suggesting that the team would split the $7 million (R131 million) prize that is to be handed to the winners of the competition.
However, Safa president Danny Jordaan clarified the matter and stated that there was a misunderstanding and that the structure of Bafana’s payment would not be disclosed to the public. Bafana encountered similar issues late last year as the squad were on the verge of an internal strike ahead of friendly matches against Congo and the Ivory Coast.
National team head coach Hugo Broos expressed his slight irritation in such issues but was pleased to see his side’s response to these issues.
Said Broos at the time: “The players were not happy because they weren’t paid and I understand that but I told them also, you can only do one thing, perform.
“Then you go (back) to the table and you are the strongest party. And they did that, they beat Congo, and played well in Ivory Coast.
“I had the same as a coach and player (at club level), it’s normal and I wasn’t really finding it a problem (with Bafana) it was just annoying at that moment.”
Bafana will kick off their Afcon campaign against Mali next Tuesday, before facing Namibia and Tunisia in Group E.