SAFA: Give our stadium back!

2013-04-30 18:51
Kirsten Nematandani (Gallo Images)

Parliament - The SA Football Association (SAFA) wants government to return the FNB stadium to the association, MPs heard on Tuesday.

Briefing Parliament's sport committee, SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani said SAFA was forced to hand the stadium, otherwise known as Soccer City, to the City of Johannesburg prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

SAFA had pumped R580m into the venue, which hosted the opening and final World Cup matches.

Nematandani said the only way SAFA could get funding to turn the stadium into a world class venue was if they agreed to hand it over to government.

"We are still sitting with a very sore heart to lose our own facility. We want what belongs to us back," he said.

If SAFA regained control of the stadium, it would add to the association's dwindling assets.

Earlier in the briefing, SAFA executives told MPs they were selling off assets to address a "liquidity gap".

SAFA executives admitted they incurred a loss of R56.4m last year.

But, they said the association was cushioned by sufficient reserves it had built up over the past few years.

"As at the end of 2011 our reserves were standing at R98.7m... however, after we incurred a loss of R56.4m in 2012, the reserves at the end of June 2012 were standing at R42.2m," SAFA chief financial officer Gronie Hluyo said.

SAFA had more current liabilities than assets, with the "liquidity gap" standing at R92.9m.

Current liabilities are debts due within a year. Current assets include cash and other items that can be converted into cash within a year.

"However, our total assets are more than our total liabilities. Our total assets are R224m and our total liabilities are R182m."

The difference between these two figures was R42.2m - the reserves.

Most of the assets were tied up in properties and vehicles, particularly buses, for the 52 regions SAFA serviced. SAFA had already sold buses for R17m.

SAFA was busy selling properties, and had already sold 40 percent of the R10m in shares it invested in Netcare.

"SAFA is not bankrupt," Hluyo said.

Read more on:    safa  |  kirsten nematandani  |  soccer

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