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The South African Football Association (SAFA) has called on the government to hand control of the Soccer City stadium back to the national body.

Briefing Parliament’s sport committee, SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani said that the SAFA had spent R580 million (US$65 million) on constructing the stadium before handing over the venue to the government prior to the 2010 World Cup in the country. The Johannesburg stadium staged the opening match and the final of the competition.

“We are still sitting with a very sore heart to lose our own facility,” Nematandani told Sport 24. “We want what belongs to us back.” Earlier in the briefing, SAFA executives told MPs they were in the process of selling off assets to address a “liquidity gap”.

SAFA chief financial officer Gronie Hluyo added: “As at the end of 2011 our reserves were standing at R98.7 million… however, after we incurred a loss of R56.4 million in 2012, the reserves at the end of June 2012 were standing at R42.2 million.”

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