There will be no eleventh-hour posturing and threats of a strike by players. There will be no heavy-handed threats of punishment by blazered officials over players’ financial demands before, during or after Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2src23.
That’s because the players who make the cut for the 33-man Springbok squad to defend their world title in France in September and October have sorted out the vital remuneration details.
Earlier this month, Banyana Banyana players refused to play against Botswana in a Women’s World Cup (WWC) warm-up game at the Tsakane Stadium in Ekurhuleni. There were several reasons — the state of the pitch and the quality of the opposition were two aspects that angered players, but the most pressing was financial.
The players wanted more financial guarantees from the South African Football Association (Safa), which led to an ugly stand-off. The issue was only resolved when the Motsepe Foundation stepped in to bail out Safa.
The World Cup-bound 23 SA women will each receive their guaranteed player stipends from the global governing body, Fifa, plus an additional R23src,srcsrcsrc from the Motsepe Foundation. The standby players will also be awarded this fee. The technical staff will be granted R15src,srcsrcsrc for their efforts.
It was an embarrassing and needless situation highlighting the lack of trust between Safa and the players. In rugby, the situation is far healthier.
The only concern for the Springboks is making sure they arrive in France ready for optimum performance, comfortable in the knowledge that financial arrangements were settled months ago.
MyPlayers, the organisation that represents player interests in professional rugby, began the process of agreeing on RWC bonuses with the South African Rugby Union (Saru) more than a year ago.
And the deal was finalised earlier this year, which should avoid any embarrassing and potentially destabilising fallout on the eve of the World Cup.
“Those agreements were done late last year and have been finalised well in advance,” MyPlayers chief executive Eug
…. to be continued
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