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£42.5 million South Africa Tourism-Tottenham deal angers African nation

South African citizens have lashed out at their government’s plan to sign a £42.5 million sponsorship deal with Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, according to The Times.

Earlier this week, news broke out that South Africa Tourism wanted to sponsor Tottenham. The deal could be more than Rwanda’s similar deal with Arsenal.

The sponsorship will run for three years and involve South Africa Tourism appearing on Spurs’ sleeves. It has reportedly been in the works for a few years.

The South African nation wants to join the United Arab Emirates, Rwanda and Malta, which have used football to promote their country.

A presentation stamped with South Africa Tourism’s logo claimed the expenditure of just under R926m (£42.5m) for the sponsorship would yield around R6 billion in returns.

However, South Africa has incurred backlash from its people, who are currently suffering an economic crisis coupled with electricity outages.

The power problem is the worst they have faced in years, prompting people to criticise the sponsorship move.

Some people feel the country should spend the money on developing local football, with the country’s sports infrastructure deteriorating.

The deal is also suspicious. Rwanda’s sleeve sponsorship with table-topping Arsenal is worth £10m a year for four years. South Africa’s deal with Tottenham will cost around £14.2m for three years.

South Africa is struggling to rebuild its tourism sector after the horrible impact of COVID-19 and the accompanying travel lockdowns.

The country’s tourism ministry recently partnered with Netflix to promote South Africa to potential international visitors.

The Tottenham deal still needs approval from South Africa’s tourism ministry. They also have to wait for the national treasury to approve it.

South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa will likely speak on the sponsorship deal next week when he gives his state of the nation address on February 10.

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