Referee kit sponsor saga rumbles on

Referee Victor Hlungwani stepped out in an old kit for this weekend's league match. Picture: Gavin Barker / BackpagePix
Referee Victor Hlungwani stepped out in an old kit for this weekend's league match. Picture: Gavin Barker / BackpagePix

The ongoing sponsorship drama between Safa and the PSL is far from over.

While the matter has been referred for arbitration, match officials have been told to stop wearing kits bearing the OUTsurance logo.

“Please note: For all NSL matches, from this weekend [last weekend] going forward, kindly be informed that you are NOT to use any OUTsurance kit [officiating kit, tracksuit, warm-up shirt, golf shirt] until further notice.

“You should use alternative kit [Nike],” read the letter sent by Safa to match officials ahead of yesterday’s opening fixtures in the Absa Premiership.

Since Safa announced a five-year match official sponsorship deal with OUTsurance worth R50 million last year, the bodies have been at loggerheads. The PSL argues that the partnership is in conflict with the rights of Nedbank and Absa – both banks sponsor the league – a claim Safa has labelled “absurd and nonsensical”.

An insider told City Press that the insurance company was not happy with the stand-off and has given Safa until the end of this month to resolve the matter.

“The two organisations have agreed to bypass the appeal process and head straight for arbitration in an effort to speed up the process,” said the insider.

“But the problem is that the preferred arbitrator is busy with the state capture commission and it has been difficult to pin him down to hear the matter.

“In the meantime, they have agreed that, until the matter is settled, match officials won’t wear OUTsurance kits.”

Surprisingly, match officials wore their OUTsurance kits during the Carling Black Label Cup.

PSL acting chief executive Mato Madlala referred enquiries to their legal adviser, Michael Murphy, who could not be found for comment.

Safa’s acting chief executive officer Russell Paul did not return calls and messages left for him for comment. 

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