PE to host Mandela Challenge for 3 years

Safa's acting CEO Gay Mokoena.
Safa's acting CEO Gay Mokoena.
Image: Manus van Dyk / Gallo Images

An agreement has been reached for the Nelson Mandela Challenge to be hosted in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, for the next three years.

Safa has signed on the dotted line with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality for the rights to stage the annual international friendly in honour of the late icon. The deal is a continuation from this year's friendly where Bafana beat Mali in front of a near-capacity crowd in PE. Sowetan has it on good authority that the deal is with the PE metro.

Safa acting CEO Gay Mokoena let the cat out of the bag but did not reveal the said metro. "On the Mandela Challenge we have adopted a new approach and have entered into an agreement with one of the metros," Mokoena said.

"We have entered into a three-year contract that they will be hosting the Nelson Mandela Challenge."

Contacted yesterday, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality spokesperson Kupido Baron did not want to comment before an official announcement.

It's not all doom and gloom at Safa despite the football mother body tabling a loss of R74m at their AGM on Sunday. The association has a number of deals in the pipeline. A new kit sponsor is set to be announced after the deal with Nike expired, AB Inbev has renewed its contract, a transport sponsor has been found, energy drinks provider Powerade has also renewed its contract while Banyana Banyana are also set to announce a new partner.

But their sponsorship with national flight carrier SAA is uncertain after the embattled state-owned airline went into business rescue last week.

"As we know, SAA went into business rescue. It will have implications but from our side we will look at the situation closely," Mokoena said.

"Business rescue does not mean the company stops operating. It will continue but will be managed differently. The sponsorship we have with them is not cash-based, it is service-based. So as long as SAA is still flying we should still continue our relationship."


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