Analysts Criticize SSFA, calls for support to Bright Stars

On Monday, the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) raised a financial difficulty to transport and accommodate the national team, “The Bright Stars”, in international duty.

John Anthony, the Secretary of the association, appealed to the general public to raise funds to enable the Bright Stars travel to Burundi for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers due to take place on the 10th of June – just ten days from today.

The association said that it does not have enough money to pay for the transport and accommodation fees for the national team to compete in their first game of the group stages outside the country. Juba Monitor gathered views of some sports analysts around Juba town and came up with the following opinions.

Yaba Ojok Jackson, the Head Coach of Yei Central FC said it’s too late for the association to raise complains because people cannot raise enough capital within this period but insists the public should do whatever they can to help the Bright Stars travel in time to play Burundi.

“In my opinion, they have delayed so much because by the time they won against Djibuti Fc, they should have come up with the strategy to raise money for the national team but now it’s only one month that they begin to complain of shortage of funds. The Association should have put a work plan in time to lobby for money to fund the activities of the team. Now it will be hard for people in other parts of the country such as Yei, to contribute efficiently due to the insecurity in the area. Even the government is complaining of low income due to the current crisis,” Ojok told Juba Monitor yesterday.

However, Ojok said the association and the national team should not give up. The team have to go and play that match since missing the game in Burundi will be more of a burden to the team and the nation as a whole because of the fine that will be imposed on South Sudan. He said the association should call the local FAs and contract the big companies in the country to contribute whatever they can to help the team travel and play in Burundi next month.

“All in all, my massage to the SSFA and the public is that, let the association not say, they will not go and play because it will affect the association. Let them ask the government to borrow money since the government has an upper hand, or they can contract some big companies…like last time it was Viva-cell that sponsored the transport and accommodation of the Bright Stars when they went out. The association can also call the local FAs to contribute something, however little,” Ojok advised.

He said he solely wants the national team to go and participate in Burundi because he wants to watch the three (3) players he coached at Yei Central Football Club in Yei.

“Three of my boys namely; Peter Dusman, Yassir Biansy and Boki Daniel have made their way into the national team, therefore I would be pleased to see them play for their country” Ojok said.

Gbandala Emmanuel, the Team Project Coordinator for Amarat Football Club said, the association should reveal how much money it has in its account to let the public know. “Concerning the difficulties our national team is facing in terms of traveling away, I would wish to know how much money SSFA has in its accounts. The national team finance department should be open and tell us so that we know how much we as a public are expected to contribute”, Gbandala told Juba Monitor in an interview yesterday.

He said if worse comes to worse and South Sudan cannot afford to travel by air, they can go by road to Burundi via Uganda.

“It’s all about transporting the players to Burundi and accommodating them once there. If they can’t use a plane, they can be transported on bus via Kampala, Uganda. It will only take us like 24hrs. We can set the journey from Juba in the wee hours and reach Kampala at around five O’clock, rest for three hours and then board another bus to Burundi. In the wee hours of the next day we shall be in Burundi,” Gbandala added.

He said, “transporting and accommodating the national team in Burundi is far less expensive than the 1,500 USD the Confederation of African Football – CAF will charge us if we fail to go and play the game. I urging all South Sudanese to come together and contribute in order to let the Bright Stars travel to Burundi and play the African Cup of Nations first league qualifier. The second league will be at home, therefore, we shall not need to contribute money.”

Gbandala said the Bright Stairs cannot afford to miss this game because it’s an African Cup qualifier. He urged the fans and well-wishers to contribute the money for the Bright Stars to go and play successfully in Burundi

Meanwhile, Baraka Sebit, the Director of Football for Nasri FC said the time to lobby income for the national team has gone. He said the SSFA should have opened up early enough about the financial crisis the association is facing in order to raise enough money to facilitate the Bright Stars to Burundi for the African Cup of Nations qualifier.

“The national team should have prepared early enough. Right now, there’s no time. The association should have released their budget two months before the game. They have run out of time really”.

However, Mr. Baraka called on companies and businessmen and women to bail-out the national team at such critical financial times. He said it’s a must that the Bright Stars have to go and play the game in Burundi next month.

By David Mono Danga

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