FIFA candidate Sexwale wants shirt sponsors for national teams

Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:12pm EST
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By Simon Evans

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale says he wants national teams to be able to wear sponsors' names on their shirts at an expanded World Cup tournament.

South African Sexwale, a prisoner under apartheid who became a politician and businessman, unveiled his election manifesto on Wednesday as he bids to replace Sepp Blatter at the helm of world football's governing body in the Feb. 26 vote.

Sexwale said the current crisis at FIFA, which faces investigations from the U.S. Department of Justice and Swiss authorities and was hit by the indictment of 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives in May, can be "utilized to turn things around and renew FIFA".

Repeating his call for a strong commitment to development programs to help the game outside its profitable center in Europe, Sexwale promised an "open door policy" to national associations and to "allow stakeholders easier access" to the FIFA president.

But his most eye-catching proposal is to allow the national associations to generate more sponsorship revenue by allowing company logos on shirts.

Sexwale said he would "seriously explore the possibility of the national jersey, as happens in other sporting codes, bearing the logo of the main sponsor - not only the jersey-maker as is currently the case.

"There is space there for much value worth millions of dollars which will be destined directly into FAs' (national football associations') coffers," he said.

Shirt sponsorship became widespread in the club game in the 1980s but FIFA have not allowed deals for national team jerseys, with FAs limited to sponsorship on training tops and off-the-field equipment.   Continued...

South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale speaks during a media briefing at the SAFA house in Johannesburg, South Africa, in this October 27, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/Files