Criticism and outright condemnation trails report on Daily Maverick of the plan for South African government to sign a $52m sponsorship deal with Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs.
Many South Africans have described the deal as ludicrous, one of the commentators wrote; ‘while our township children do not even have footballs to play with… this now gives a new meaning to clueless and out of touch.’
Another responded ‘I couldn’t agree with you more…it should be the other way around – Spurs should be sponsoring the development of football for previously and currently disadvantaged kids in South Africa! These people have sunk to new lows in their efforts to steal from taxpayers….its “open season” now – no embarrassment just plain theft in the broad light of day!’
Another commentator asked ‘What sane tourist will come to this crime-ridden country with rolling blackouts, potholed roads and crumbling infrastructure? I used to recommend South Africa to my UK relatives, not anymore! $52 million? Get more police!’
The deal according to the report is meant to promote South Africa as a travel destination but there are also concerns about the country subsidising a wealthy football club, the publication reports.
Details of the three-year deal are on the “verge of being finalised” through the marketing arm SA Tourism.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce the deal during his State of the Nation Address on 10 February, the report adds, but there are no comments yet from the presidency or the tourism minister.
A tourism expert quoted was critical of the deal, saying the return on investment was “ludicrous”.
Since 2018, the Rwandan government has had a controversial sponsorship deal worth more than £30m ($42m), which involves a “Visit Rwanda” logo displayed on Arsenal shirt sleeves.