The South African Football Association (Safa) has announced that the organisation has entered into a five-year sponsorship agreement with the MultiChoice Group (MCG), under the Showmax brand, with the goal of improving the state of refereeing in the country.
The standard of officiating has been heavily scrutinised in recent seasons with many fans calling for something to be done.
Safa thus announced on Thursday that it has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Showmax aiming to create a professional environment around officiating in the country.
The mother body of SA football confirmed the news via a statement on their website and live broadcast on DStv.
According to Safa, ‘the partnership supports the more than 40,000 referees officiating in all matches played under the auspices of Safa and provides assistance to both the male and female divisions of the sport, in support of Safa’s Project Equity.
‘Effective this week until 2025, Showmax [MCG’s online subscription video-on-demand service] is the sole and exclusive global Safa official referee sponsor. The referees will now be known as “the Showmax Safa referees.”’
Showmax and SAFA partnership a win for South African football https://t.co/SYfgZJrzVj
— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) October 22, 2020
This new relationship will assist Safa with its referee programme, which is focused on improving the quality of football officiating and feeding the talent pipeline in a fully inclusive manner. The development, education and training of match officials are at the core of this invaluable partnership and will assist in ensuring that referees and match officials are kept abreast of the latest innovations and techniques available to best enforce the rules of the game.
‘We are pleased to be involved in what we believe is a monumental win for South African football that will truly elevate match officiating across all levels, from grassroots to the DStv Premiership and beyond, ultimately enabling the best local talent to participate on a global stage,’ said Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO.
‘The partnership between MultiChoice and Safa is critical as it allows us to fulfil our development mandate, as well as improving the quality of football officiating at both domestic and international levels. This partnership will continue to make a contribution to deliver world-class officials on an inclusive basis. It will further accelerate delivery of both male and female match officials for Caf and Fifa competitions,’ said Safa president Dr Danny Jordaan.
The agreement includes a redesigned and rebranded referees kit and other branding elements through which the Showmax brand will be showcased at all Safa levels including:
National Team matches
National First Division (NFD)
ABC Motsepe League
Sasol Women’s League
All football tournaments and matches played under the auspices of Safa.
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