The date for the Premier Soccer League’s turf war with SAFA has been set as the two organisations head for arbitration over their bitter feud of the five-year sponsorship deal between the motherbody and OUTsurance.
It was on the opening day of the 2019/20 season that the dispute over match officials wearing the lime green kit with the insurers’ colours on match days reared its ugly head again, with SAFA being forced to release a statement explaining why their referees were not dressed in their uniform, which had now become the norm since the agreement last year.
Both the PSL and SAFA will attempt to settle the dispute this coming weekend when an arbitrator has finally become available.
The league will likely maintain that the sponsorship is “ambush marketing” as PSL chairman Irvin Khoza described recently, arguing it undermines their contract with Absa and Nedbank as title sponsors of domestic football.
SAFA’s deal with OUTsurance, announced almost exactly a year ago, is worth R50-million over a five-year period and they had promised the insurer the match officials will be kitted in their colours as they – not the PSL – administer referees.
Match officials have not been wearing the kit during Absa Premiership matches, but have been doing so in all the other competitions.