New sport quotas ‘could cost SA dearly’

2014-04-09 00:00

THERE was criticism of the proposed new sports quota rules from various quarters yesterday, while the marketing industry said they could cost the country dearly.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula indicated at the weekend that he wants to see 60% black players in national and regional teams.

Former Springbok Tiaan Strauss, now MD of sports marketing agency Megapro, said it would be “catastrophic” if quotas made SA teams less competitive.

“Any sponsor wants to be associated with a successful team. Transformation is a good thing, but you can’t pursue it at all costs because teams have got to be competitive.”

He said sponsors who pump millions into the economy would lose interest in teams that began to decline.

Local sport marketer Max Cluer said, “There is a great deal of concern among sponsors over the government’s plans, and when there is uncertainty, cheques are not signed.”

Deputy Sports Minister Gert Oosthui­zen said the department’s quotas are not a “diabolical plan”.

“No team will be summarily withdrawn from a world cup. We are busy doing an honest evaluation to see where there are bottlenecks in transformation.”

He said the government would not let sports codes be suspended by international bodies. “We know the codes.”

DA shadow sports minister Winston Rabotapi called the minister’s announcement blatant politicking ahead of next month’s election.

“I doubt the minister has ever played soccer or rugby, otherwise he would know you can’t choose players on the basis of their skin colour and still expect that the team will win.”

Hilton Cairns, marketing manager of PMB-based Willowton Group, which sponsors cricket, said it was too early to comment.

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