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South African Soccer Look for New Income After Puma Snub

The South African Football Association is finalizing new partnerships after German sporting goods maker Puma ended its contract with the organization in January 2013 following match-fixing allegations.

“We are in the middle of finalizing sponsorships that will come on board,” SAFA President Danny Jordaan said today in a phone interview from Johannesburg. While looking for increased revenue, SAFA is already “comfortable with our sponsorship,” Jordaan said.

Puma issued a statement yesterday confirming it had terminated its technical and licensed partnership with the soccer organization with immediate effect following match-fixing allegations, even though the partnership actually ended ten months ago.

“The decision was taken at the time when the allegations were made,” Tim Stedman, a spokesman for Puma, said in a mobile phone interview from Germany today. “It was in direct response to those allegations.”

Sponsorship of more than 250 million rand ($26 million) accounts for 80 percent to 90 percent of SAFA’s revenue, Jordaan said. The biggest sponsors are brewer SABMiller Plc, broadcaster SuperSport, which is owned by Naspers Ltd., and state-owned South African Broadcasting Corp.

Puma became the official kit supplier to SAFA in 2011, a year after South Africa hosted the Soccer World Cup. Allegations about possible match-fixing in warm-up games involving the national team before the tournament were made in a 2012 report by FIFA, the sport’s world governing body.

South African President Jacob Zuma is yet to appoint a commission of inquiry into the allegations after a proposal by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a phone interview today.

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