Oct 17 Puma has ended its contract to sponsor
the South African national soccer team after less than two years
because of match-fixing allegations, the German sportswear
company said on Thursday.
The loss of a major sponsor is a further blow after 2010
hosts South Africa failed to qualify for next year's World Cup
A FIFA report last year alleged the results of South
Africa's pre-World Cup matches against Thailand, Bulgaria,
Colombia and Guatemala leading up the 2010 finals were fixed.
Puma, which took over the sponsorship from German rival
Adidas in 2012, was critical of the way the South African
Football Association (SAFA) had dealt with the claims.
"Following match-fixing allegations made against SAFA along
with inappropriate responses from within the football
organisation (including the suspension of senior officials),
Puma terminated the contract with immediate effect," Puma said
in a statement.
The SAFA initially suspended its chief and four other
leading officials in response to the allegations but reinstated
them in January, saying they were improperly removed from
Experienced soccer administrator Danny Jordaan, who led
South Africa's successful 2010 World Cup, was elected as the new
SAFA president last month.
Puma sponsors a number of Africa's top soccer nations
including Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon.