The South African Football Association (SAFA) have clarified media reports that the senior national women’s team will be using kit from their old technical sponsors Nike, at the upcoming COSAFA Women’s Championship, instead of the new Le Coq kit.
SAFA recently announced the partnership with Le Coq for the next five years
But the relationship seems to have started on a bad note, following the embarrassing incident earlier this month where the Bafana Bafana technical team were seen wearing covered-up Nike jackets.
The New Frame publication reported on Saturday that the Banyana team will use the old kit during the tournament that plays between 3-14 November in Port Elizabeth.
In a statement, SAFA confirmed that their kit partners are facing challenges and expect everything to be in order by January 2021.
SAFA is happy that despite the Covid-19 challenges and the change of dates by CAF, Le Coq Sportif, our kit partners, have shown commitment in delivering a playing and outfield kit for national teams in a short space of time.
In terms of the two partners’ contract, the kit sponsors are expected to deliver full complement of kit for all national teams by January 2021 and have given commitment that the target will be achieved.
In the meantime, as part of this transition, the junior teams will continue donning the Nike kit for the immediate coming tournaments.
It is common knowledge that Covid-19 lockdown regulations were announced almost immediately after signing the kit deal, thereby affecting the production and timelines of the delivery of the kit as almost all sectors were shut down including the textile manufacturing industry.
Similarly, international matches were also discontinued. It is therefore clear that both the delivery date of the kit and resumption of international matches depended on the easing of government lockdown regulations.
Consequently, the regulations were amended in September for international matches to resume as well as the production process.
Our own experience with technical suppliers is clear that full delivery of kit requires a minimum of 6 months production period and Le Coq is busy with the production of national team kit.
SAFA is happy that both Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana will be kitted by Le Coq with immediate effect. The senior women’s national team will start donning Le Coq brand in the upcoming COSAFA Cup tournament in Port Elizabeth commencing this coming week.
For the junior national teams, Le Coq has ensured that all other national teams will get their kit by January.
Meanwhile, SAFA would like to reiterate that there is no federation that has done more to promote women’s football like SAFA. We have just replaced a man NEC member with a woman, Ms Elizabeth de Koker.
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By Ofhani Munyai