The South African Football Association (Safa) and Multichoice, through their online video on demand subscription service Showmax, on Thursday announced a landmark, five-year sponsorship agreement to develop referees at all levels.
The partnership is meant to support the more than 40 000 referees officiating in all matches played under Safa and provides assistance to both men and women divisions of the sport, through Safa’s Project Equity.
Safa president Danny Jordaan said during the live virtual TV announcement that over the next three years they would also be focussing on introducing the high tech Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
The partnership starts immediately and will be effective until 2025 and that Showmax was the exclusive Safa referee sponsor. The referees development programme would be known as the Showmax Safa Referees.
In a statement released on the Safa website, the national football body and the new sponsors said: “This new relationship focuses 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 is 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.”
Said Jordaan: “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 level.
“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 Multichoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela: “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”.
The agreement includes a redesigned and rebranded referees’ kit and other branding elements through which the Showmax brand will be showcased at all levels including during matches of:
- DStv Premiership
- National Team matches
- National First Division (NFD)
- ABC Motsepe League
- Sasol Women’s League
- Regional Leagues
- All football tournaments and matches played under the auspices of Safa