South African Soccer Look for New Income After Puma Snub

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rene Vollgraaff in Johannesburg at rvollgraaff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net