23 April 2020 – SAFA wishes to update the football public on the current scenario that impacts football as a result of Covid-19.
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS: It is now clear that all the international and continental federations ie FIFA, IOC, UEFA, CAF etc agreed that all international final competitions like the World Cup qualifiers, Olympics, Euro Finals must be postponed until 2021. This is in line with the suggestions from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that international matches should only commence in 2021.
DOMESTIC COMPETITIONS: Domestic leagues in most countries have all been postponed to a future date. Belgium and the Netherlands have accepted that it was impossible for them to complete their leagues and have decided to cancel them. Suggestions in England are that because Liverpool is leading the log by more than 20 points, they should be awarded the title (their first in 30 years), similar suggestions are being made here. South Africa is under lockdown and we await further announcement from President Cyril Ramaphosa. The announcement will give us an indication when it would be safe to resume domestic competitions.
The prospect of resuming football competitions in South Africa will be largely influenced by our collective resolve to flatten the curve and reduce new infections and deaths.
England indicated the determination to complete their league and therefore settle the final log standings.
FINANCIAL LOSES AS A RESULT OF COVID-19: When considering losses to South African football, we must recognise that European clubs and National Associations have five major revenue streams while South African football has only two.
Europe has the following:
MAJOR PRIZE MONEY: The UEFA Champions League has a total prize money for a club winning all its Champions League matches including the final of R1,6 billion while the European Champions League final itself carries a prize money of R80 million. No Federation or Domestic League on the continent carries that amount of money.
MATCH DAY REVENUE: Ticketing, hospitality and other day services, generate millions to the club in their home fixture. This is not the case in South Africa.
MERCHANDISING: Sale of merchandising outside the stadiums and sports shops all over the world is another major revenue for European clubs. South Africa is a major market for top European clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich etc.
South Africa and African clubs do not have merchandising programme on these massive scales.
SPONSORSHIP: Whilst European and South African clubs generate revenue from sponsorships, there is a difference in both scale and revenue.
BROADCAST, NEW MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY: This is a major revenue streams both in Europe and South Africa. South Africa and African clubs have only two major sources of revenue – Sponsorship and Broadcasting.
The broadcast revenue environment in South Africa has only one significant contributor ie Supersport. The pay-per-view channel is therefore the biggest benefactor to South African football and also the greatest risk for SA football. SA football and sport in general (football, rugby and cricket) will have a major impact and subsequent loses if Supersport ability to continue to pay broadcast rights fees is compromised. We can therefore expect revenue losses of 40-60 percent to sport if this happens.
RELIEF FUNDING: The SA government through Minister of Sport and FIFA has established a programme for relief funding for sports federations (the President of SAFA participated in a meeting with FIFA this past Monday to update the world football governing body on the impact of Covid-19 in the country and specifically football. Both the SA government and FIFA have undertaken to provide relief funding and we await both decisions from the two.
DISRUPTION OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME: The international programmes of SAFA have been under pressure because of the Covid-19. In a normal year, club football ends in June and international competitions like the Olympics, CAF competitions are played in June and July.
FIFA has postponed the calendar weeks in March and June to provide for club competitions to complete their season. Covid-19 has also resulted in postponement of AFCON and World Cup qualifiers.
SAFA therefore, understands the first priority is to get club football underway as soon as it is possible. We await further announcement from the government and FIFA to indicate when it is safe to resume domestic competition.
Stay at home. Wash your hands. Maintain social distance and keep safe.
Issued by the Communications Department: SAFA
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