Safa announces long-term sponsorship deal with MultiChoice to improve refereeing in South Africa

Abdul Basit Ebrahim, Safa Head of Referees, January 2020
The country's football governing body released the following statement on Thursday

MultiChoice Group (MCG) and the South African Football Association (Safa) are pleased to announce a landmark, five-year sponsorship agreement that champions South African football.

The partnership supports the more than 40,000 referees officiating in all matches played under the auspices of Safa and provides assistance to both the male and female divisions of the sport, in support of Safa’s Project Equity.

Effective this week until 2025, Showmax (MCG’s online subscription video-on-demand service) is the sole and exclusive global Safa official referee sponsor.

The referees will now be known as “the Showmax Safa Referees.”

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This new relationship will assist Safa with its referee programme, which is focused on improving the quality of football officiating and feeding the talent pipeline in a fully inclusive manner.

The development, education and training of match officials are at the core of this invaluable partnership and will assist in ensuring that referees and match officials are kept abreast of the latest innovations and techniques available to best enforce the rules of the game.

“We are pleased to be involved in what we believe is a monumental win for South African football that will truly elevate match officiating across all levels, from grassroots to the PSL and beyond, ultimately enabling the best local talent to participate on a global stage,” Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO, said.

“The partnership between MultiChoice and SAFA is critical as it allows us to fulfil our development mandate, as well as improving the quality of football officiating at both domestic and international level. This partnership will continue to make a contribution to deliver world-class officials on an inclusive basis. It will further accelerate delivery of both male and female match officials for Caf and Fifa competitions,” Safa President, Dr Danny Jordaan said.

The agreement includes a redesigned and rebranded referees’ kit and other branding elements through which the Showmax brand will be showcased at all Safa levels including:


National Team matches

National First Division (NFD)

ABC Motsepe League

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SASOL Women’s League

Regional Leagues

All football tournaments and matches played under the auspices of Safa.