Uncertainty surrounds the Masters Security Southern Region Football League second round kick-off as referees insist that they will not officiate any game unless they are paid their first-round officiation dues in full.
The referees are owed K3 million and the Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) was hoping that they [referees] would soften their stance upon being offered K1.5 million as down payment, which the league got from its sponsor last weekend.
The league’s second-round was initially scheduled to start last week, but was postponed to this weekend to sort out the officiation fees issue.
SRFA chairperson Raphael Humba yesterday said having received part of the K10.5 million sponsorship package, they were optimistic that the referees would soften up.
However, Southern Region Referees Committee (SRRC) vice-general secretary Andy Kuseli bought none of that, saying even if they get the down payment, their position remains unchanged.
“We made it very clear to SRFA that unless we are paid our dues in full, we will not officiate the second-round because what that means is that the arrears will still be accumulating.
“So, what we would advise the association is to go by what was agreed,” Keseli said in an interview yesterday.
According to the sponsorship agreement, Masters Security are supposed to give SRFA the sponsorship in instalments.
“But by the end of the first-round, they are supposed to give us the whole amount.
“Unfortunately, by the time we were concluding the first -round, we had not received a penny, until last weekend when they gave us [K1.5 million],” said Humba
He said from the K10.5 million, K6 million goes towards prizes while the rest is for administration, which includes officiation fees.
But Masters Security administration manager Christopher Njeula yesterday attributed the delay to remit the sponsorship to logistical hitches.
“Actually, the sponsorship is in two categories—administration and prize money. The bulk of it goes towards prize money and it is remitted at the end of the season, but as for administration, we remit it in phases.
“So, we have remitted the first instalment of the administration fees and we can assure them [SRFA] that it will be done smoothly and we will remit the funds,” he said.
Masters Security are into the second of their three-year sponsorship with the regional league. They also sponsor TNM Super League rookies Masters Security FC. n