CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Nike and the South African Football Association announced a five-year sponsorship deal Tuesday which sees the American sportswear label replace German manufacturer Puma as kit supplier to the struggling former World Cup host.
The sponsorship begins Feb. 1 and Nike said it'll make a "limited edition" kit for Bafana Bafana's friendly against Brazil in Johannesburg in March. The agreement also allows South Africa's national team to use the Nike training center in Soweto, which was built around the 2010 World Cup.
Neither party disclosed any financial details. Nike also has deals with the national football federations of Brazil, England, France, Korea, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United States.
Puma ended its agreement with SAFA last year over allegations of match-fixing in the country's pre-World Cup friendlies in 2010, citing "inappropriate responses from within the (South African) football organization" to the allegations. FIFA asked South Africa to investigate the allegations in late 2012 but little has been done, even after the South African government promised an inquiry.
SAFA President Danny Jordaan said the Nike deal was part of the process of rebuilding South Africa's battered football reputation with the team also severely criticized at home for poor recent performances.
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