African SVoD service Showmax has signed a five-year agreement with the South African Football Association (SAFA) to support more than 40,000 referees officiating in both the male and female divisions of the sport.
Effective this week until 2025, the 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.
Match officials will be trained and educated to ensure referees are kept abreast of the latest innovations and techniques available to best enforce the rules of the game.
The agreement includes a redesigned and rebranded referee’s kit and other branding elements through which the Showmax brand will be showcased at all SAFA levels including DStv Premiership, national team matches, National First Division, ABC Motsepe League, SASOL Women’s League, regional leagues and all football tournaments and matches played under the auspices of SAFA.
Calvo Mawela, CEO of Showmax parent MultiChoice Group, said: “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 DStv Premiership and beyond, ultimately enabling the best local talent to participate on a global stage.”
SAFA president Danny Jordaan added: “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 the delivery of both male and female match officials for CAF and Fifa competitions.”
Showmax is the exclusive global SAFA referee sponsor and the referees will now be known as the Showmax SAFA Referees.