Comitis hits out at brand bans in contests

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The Urban Warriors have pulled out of the Cape Fish Under-17 tournament as their kit carries that logo of MTN, their new sponsor.

“It is sad to see when sponsorship brands are actually controlling the soccer content in this country. It’s a disappointment for me to see that our 16 and 17-year-old players will suffer the consequences of not being allowed to play in this tournament simply because their jerseys have the MTN logo on it.”

_quote He added in his column on the club’s website that the team would now focus on their European tournaments where they will be allowed to play in their own shirts irrespective of what sponsor logo it bears.

“We as a brand have to respect the people that fund us and so should our football associations, rival clubs and all competition sponsors.

“In the PSL you have teams sponsored by Vodacom playing in the competitions sponsored by MTN and teams sponsored by Standard Bank play in the Nedbank Cup and ABSA Premiership.

“Recently we participated in the Metropolitan Premier Cup, so did Old Mutual and BidVest Wits football clubs. To their credit, the organisers did not prevent these clubs participating despite their shirts bearing a rival financial company’s brand.

“If it’s good enough for cross branding to take place at professional level then surely we should follow the lead at amateur level.

“We do not have the necessary infrastructure and funding at amateur level and sponsorship is vital to the survival of the sport, however it is crucial that we understand that we are in the business of football and the game must prevail over all else.

“I think that the organizers of this tournament need to rethink their decision on this issue as football should be the winner and not the politic of whom the competition sponsors happen to be.”

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