Nearly E6 million of public money is to be pumped into the controversial football tournament in Swaziland created to honour the kingdom’s absolute monarch King Mswati III.
The Swazi Ministry of Sport, Culture and Youth Affairs has been given E5.8 million (US$580,000) by government to fund the so-called King’s Super Cup.
The money will be diverted to the tournament scheduled for 18 July 2015 that features two of South Africa’s top clubs, the Orlando Pirates and the Kaizer Chiefs.
The money has been diverted from a number of government departments in the cash-strapped kingdom, where seven in ten of the 1.3 million population have incomes of less than US$2 a day.
According to local media in Swaziland the money will have to be repaid after the tournament, but this would only be possible if the event is a financial success.
The winner of the tournament will reportedly take E1 million prize money. The cheapest tickets will be E250, which is out of the reach of most Swazi people.
Meanwhile, one of the groups opposing the tournament on the grounds that it would be seen as supporting the King who has been criticised globally for the poor human rights in his kingdom, has promised what it calls a ‘revolution’ in Swaziland if the tournament goes ahead.
The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) was widely reported in South African media saying it had ‘underground’ plans to dispatch a revolution if the South African clubs went ahead.
Lucky Lukhele, the SSN spokesperson, was reported saying ‘All systems are in place underground and overground in South Africa and in Swaziland should they [Pirates and Chiefs] decide to ignore us.’
He added, ‘Our revolution will not be peed on by ignorant people. We have a network of people who are helping us and we are ready for anything.’
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