S Africa swimmers must pay their own way to Barcelona

CAPE TOWN Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:43pm IST

Chad Le Clos of South Africa competes in the men's 50m butterfly semi-finals during the FINA World Swimming Championships in Istanbul December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/Files

Chad Le Clos of South Africa competes in the men's 50m butterfly semi-finals during the FINA World Swimming Championships in Istanbul December 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer/Files

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South African swimmers, including Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos, will have to pay their own way to compete in the FINA World Championships in Barcelona later this year as their cash-strapped federation cannot fund their trip.

Swimming South Africa CEO Shaun Adriaanse confirmed that the federation would be sending the swimmers to Spain but they would have to pay for their own flights and accommodation for the championship starting on July 19.

The swimming federation lost their major sponsor last year as South African telecommunications company Telkom pulled the plug on their US$ 1.25 million per year deal.

Adriaanse said the organisation has canvassed extensively for a new backer, but that there have been no takers.

Bert le Clos, who manages his son Chad, called the situation "pathetic".

"It's pathetic that you have to (buy) your own flight tickets," he told South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper. "It's a disgrace when you consider the amount of medals and glory swimmers bring to this country. There are other teams, which I don't want to point out, that get millions but bring back nothing."

South Africa's sports minister Fikile Mbalula said he was unaware of the plight of the federation, though it has emerged he tried to intervene on their behalf when Telkom withdrew their sponsorship.

South Africa won three medals in the pool at the 2012 London Olympic Games - Le Clos collecting gold (200m) and silver (100m) in the butterfly and Cameron van der Berg gold in the 100-metre breaststroke.

(Reporting by Nick Said in Cape Town; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Asian Games

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Indian Super League

Indian Super League

New league will lift Indian soccer, says Del Piero.  Full Article 

Bidding Adieu

Bidding Adieu

China's Li Na announces her retirement from tennis.  Full Article 

Selangor Masters

Selangor Masters

Anirban Lahiri stays ahead in Malaysia.  Full Article 

Euro 2020

Euro 2020

London's Wembley stadium to host climax of Euro 2020.  Full Article 

Generous Platini

Generous Platini

Platini plans to keep luxury gift, make charity donation.  Full Article 

F1 Radio Ban

F1 Radio Ban

Formula One revises radio ban after team talks  Full Article 

Defending Ozil

Defending Ozil

Don't make Ozil a scapegoat, warns Arsenal boss.  Full Article 

FIFA Probe

FIFA Probe

FIFA ethics judge promises secrecy in World Cup probe.  Full Article 

Singapore GP

Singapore GP

Alonso lifts Ferrari gloom in Singapore F1 practice.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage