SSFA eyes aggressive door-to-door fundraiser for Bright Stars

SSFA eyes aggressive door-to-door fundraiser for Bright Stars
Bright Stars squad in Morocco enroute to Senegal where they will play the Gambia in 2023 AFCON Qualifier. [Photos: SSFA]

After failing to raise $2 million at a fundraiser last Saturday, the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) has resorted to a door-to-door campaign to raise funds for the national team.

There was a low-key reception at the event that was to be graced by President Salva Kiir.

The highly-publicised function that seeks to raise money for the national team’s 2023 AFCON Qualifier was attended by a few government senior officials led by Minister of Youth and Sports, Albino Bol Dhieu, with just about $1,000 raised against a target of $2 million.

Dhieu had committed SSP one million, although he could only pay half the amount with a promise to settle the rest in two months.

The Bright Stars are currently in Morocco, from where they will fly directly to Senegal for the away game against the Gambia on June 4.

The team needs about $2 million to honour all the group matches, including four away ties in Uganda that will act as South Sudan’s home ground.

But despite a key reception with only a few youthful athletes and pitiful faces availing themselves at the Freedom Hall, the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) now says that they will go on with the fundraiser, including knocking at the government offices to raise funds for the national team.

The door-to-door campaign will begin on Tuesday, May 31, according to Joseph Apai, the Committee’s Secretary.

SSFA Deputy President, Charles Udwar, expressed dissatisfaction that government officials did not show up to support the national squad.

“It’s sad to see our government, which is in charge of even looking after the national team, not being present,’’ he lamented.

“The idea that FIFA sponsors national teams is prevalent in this country.” That is not the case at all. I would like them to check whether FIFA is doing the same thing in other countries. FIFA is never in charge of any country’s national teams,” the SSFA deputy president expressed.

Despite their sadness, Udwar added that they would continue to knock on the doors of institutions and individuals, not just to collect money but also to promote awareness of the national team.

Since the South Sudan national stadium is undergoing renovations, the campaign will allow the country to raise funds for air tickets, lodging, player motivation, and the cost of the venue and training facilities for home matches.

South Sudan will play away due to the unavailability of the Juba National Stadium which is still undergoing renovation. According to FIFA, it is the responsibility of every government to fund its national football team.