Boost for referees
In an unprecedented twist and a drive to improve football match officiating, OUTsurance has joined forces with South African Football Association (SAFA).
This partnership will see the insurer invest over R50m over a five-year period as the sponsor of the match officials.
Furthermore, at a recent announcement event, both parties also hinted that this unique partnership will afford OUTsurance high visibility on-field at all ABSA
Premier Soccer League, National First Division, ABC Motsepe League, SAB League, SASOL Women’s League and all cup matches.
It was also revealed that, the sponsorship extends beyond
“At the core of this sponsorship is the development of refereeing in South Africa, to the benefit of both players and supporters.
“With this support, SAFA will focus on a range of factors which will improve the standard of refereeing in the country.
This includes grassroots development of
Underprivileged match officials, facilitating skills development for better on field performance and a review of remuneration to ensure fairness across the various grades.” Read the statement.
In a space traditionally dominated by males, the partnership will also seek to promote the enrolment of more female match officials.
It was also explained at the launch that OUTsurance truly believes in the upliftment of women in football which will be key to the success of their sponsorship.
One female referee, Akhona Makalima told the packed audience that she does not want to be the only female referee.
“If we can have two or three more, the rest will come.”
Speaking at the launch held at SAFA House in Nasrec, OUTsurance Head of Brand
& Social Engagement, Hazel Chimhandamba said, “We are delighted to partner with SAFA on this first-of-its-kind football sponsorship, which we are certain will advance the standard of refereeing.
“The team of match officials are the custodians of fair play on the pitch, and we believe that if we can upskill our
match officials, we’ll improve the consistency and quality of the officiating which should ultimately improve the overall level of football played,”she said.
OUTsurance also stressed that,the partnership aims to achieve similar results achieved by the company’s
sponsorship of the SARU match officials, which the insurer has sponsored for approximately 3 years.
SAFA Deputy Chairperson of Referees, Mbongeni Shibe said the sponsorship came at an opportune time.
“As the South African Football Association, we are excited to partner with a corporate that has already achieved so much with their existing sponsorships, and who we know are determined to making a positive difference in this space.
“Our motivation to partner with OUTsurance was that their objectives for the sponsorship aligned with those we have set out for Vision 2022, one of which is specifically the
progress and inclusivity of women in football, which will receive assistance from this sponsorship,” Shibe argued.
Former Referee, Enoch Molefe told the audience that any support for match officials was highly appreciated.
“This kind of support will go a long way in boosting the moral of referees,” Molefe pointed.
Safa Vice President, Ria Ledwaba, told the audience that her organization was delighted to partner with Outsurance.
She described the partnership as one of its kind in the football history.
“I believe and hope that this relationship will be of maximum benefit to both stakeholders.”
Pressed about why it took so long to source a sponsor of this magnitude for match officials.
The astonished Ledwaba said, “I don’t have the answer except to say that as from today we have a sponsor for our match officials.”