SAFA set to ditch Nike, and here's why


SAFA are in the process of replacing Nike as their technical sponsor and hope to have it done before the end of the year.

All over the world football teams are known for putting a star on their club's emblems to show that they have won a continental or international trophy.

But it still remains a mystery why Bafana Bafana don't have it on their jersey at least during the Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, even though they won it in 1996.

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"Ja it's not us, it's an issue that's been there in regards to technical partners Nike," former SAFA CEO Russell Paul explains to

"Our technical partner does not do it for Africa Cup of Nations, they only do it for the World Cups. So that's the fight we've been having with Nike, and we've been talking obviously to the new partners and should be signing off the deal very shortly.

"With the new technical partner we will have the star on the jersey. I can't give you a scoop but it's imminent [laughs]. We are hoping to do it this year."

Paul, who is now serving as CEO for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup organising committee, explains further where and when teams are allowed to sport the star on their shirts.

"It's up to the federations themselves and the clubs themselves. Obviously if they win the Champions League they are entitled to place the star on their badges.

"So obviously during a CAF match that's what you can do. But you are not able to do that if you are playing in the Club World Cup as an example because it [the star] is not a FIFA thing. So if you win the Club World Cup at FIFA level then you can place that star as well.

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"The same is for AFCON and UEFA and all those other things and the World Cup, so in terms of Bafana Bafana we should have a star on our jersey for the '96 AFCON. But we can only play in that in local matches and any CAF matches.

"We can't use it in a World Cup qualifier, because otherwise people will think that you have a star for winning the World Cup, and you didn't win the World Cup you won the AFCON. But it's up to the federation and up to the club."

Are the likes of Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns allowed to wear the star during their Absa Premiership matches and not only in CAF matches?

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"That again will be up to the NSL to decide but I think it would be permissible because it's a South African match, and therefore there should not be any problem with it.

"It's a marketing thing more than anything. It's specifically for bragging rights, so that you can brag about it when you are wearing it. It's a marketing tool in terms of the sale of the replicas.

"I think you will notice that as soon as Sundowns won the Champions League, they immediately got that thing onto their jersey and they were selling a lot more replica jerseys."

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