Safa clears air on national teams’ latest kit debacle

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The South African Football Association (Safa) has moved to clear the air regarding the latest controversy surrounding its new kit sponsor.

This is after it was reported earlier in the week that the senior women’s national team has not been supplied with the new Le Coq Sportif kit and will play in a covered-up Nike strip in the Cosafa Women’s Championship.

Kit Coq-up 

In a statement issued out by Safa on Saturday, the organisation says the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for the supplier to deliver in time for the return of football.

“It is common knowledge that COVID-19 lockdown regulations were announced almost immediately after signing the kit deal, thereby affecting the production and timelines of the delivery of the kit as almost all sectors were shut down including the textile manufacturing industry,” Safa said.

“Similarly, international matches were also discontinued. It therefore, clear that both the delivery date of the kit and resumption of international matches depended on the easing of government lockdown regulations.

“Consequently, the regulations were amended in September for international matches to resume as well as the production process.”

South African Football Association

Safa expresses commitment to women’s game

Safa has also clarified that contrary to what has been reported, Banyana Banyana will actually play in a Le Coq Sportif kit, while the junior teams will use the previous strip.

The organisation has faced criticism over not prioritising women’s sport, but claims that this is not the case.

“Meanwhile, SAFA would like to reiterate that there is no federation that has done more to promote women football like SAFA. We have just replaced a man NEC member with a woman, Ms Elizabeth de Koker.”

South African Football Association

This is not the first time the change in sponsorship has drawn controversy as, during the recent Fifa break, the Bafana technical team was seen wearing the old Nike training kit with the sponsor’s emblem blacked out, while players were dressed in the new supplier’s strip.

The Cosafa Women’s Championship kicks off on 3 November in Port Elizabeth, with the final set to take place 11 days later.

Bafana Bafana, on the other hand, will be back in action on 13 November when they host Sao Tome e Principe at FNB Stadium.

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