Bafana name for sale for R33m?

2011-03-26 17:26

The South African Football Association (Safa) may be preparing to buy the trademark “Bafana ­Bafana” from a Joburg businessman for a whopping R33 million.

A senior Safa official told City Press yesterday that the figure had been discussed as an acceptable amount to pay Wayne Smidt, whose company owns 49.9% of Safa Legal and Management (Slam) – the company that owns the Bafana trademark.

Safa owns the other 51.1% of Slam, but is unhappy with the fact that such a large cut of Bafana ­royalties would go to Smidt, who also wholly owns the trademark for Bafana Bafana clothing.

Details of the negotiations ­between Safa and Smidt come ­after Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula weighed in on the matter. He said he believed the national football team needed a more appropriate name.

“We need lions that will roar,” Mbalula said this week.

It is understood that negotiations between Smidt and Safa are ongoing and that the businessman may be asking a higher price for the lucrative brand, which brings in millions of rand in sales of jerseys and other paraphernalia.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said yesterday he ­expected a report on the matter to be tabled at the next Safa executive meeting. He confirmed that there had been negotiations with Smidt, but declined to name a figure.

Asked if R33 million was realistic, he said: “We would be happy to receive such an offer, but haven’t seen it. There have been talks for some time, but I am not going to disclose what the figures are.”

The Safa leadership is ­understood to be broadly supportive of retaining the Bafana name, but ­negotiations with Smidt will ­influence the final outcome. Smidt did not respond to calls for ­comment. – Additional reporting by Lucas Ledwaba.

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