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Arbitrator to decide PSL, SAFA sponsorship dispute

A dispute between the Premier Soccer League and South African Football Association over the latter’s signing of a sponsorship deal with insurance company OUTsurance will head to arbitration.

The PSL, which organises club competitions in South Africa, holds commercial partnerships with financial services companies Absa and Nedbank. These two firms also offer insurance services and the PSL claims that SAFA’s signing of a five-year contract with OUTsurance creates a conflict of interest. The country’s football referees are administered by SAFA, which provide officials with OUTsurance-branded kit to wear during PSL games.

South African newspaper The Sowetan reports that Absa is paying the PSL R500m (€29.1m/$32.6m) for its five-year contract, whereas OUTsurance is only investing R50m for its partnership with SAFA.

PSL chairman Irvin Khoza last year described SAFA’s contract with OUTsurance as “ambush marketing”.

The Sowetan reports that SAFA’s referees manager, Tenda Masikhwa, has written to the referees to inform them that “the OUTsurance kit MUST be worn during all other matches except during Absa Premiership and Nedbank (Cup) matches only” until the matter is resolved.