South African tourist board intends to pursue sponsorship deal with Spurs despite public uproar

South Africa’s official tourism board says it intends to continue to pursue a proposed sponsorship deal with Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, despite public uproar after details were leaked in the media this week.

Themba Khumalo, the acting CEO of South African Tourism (SAT), said while there was no signed contract as yet, the board had conditionally approved the proposed three-year deal worth 900m South African rand (£42.5m/$52.5m).

Khumalo revealed that despite details of the deal – proposed to start at the beginning of the 2023-24 Premier League season – being leaked, confidentiality agreements mean he is unable to confirm the finer points.

“Somebody maliciously leaked confidential documentation into the press – prematurely – while the discussion was still being had,” Khumalo said.

The board of SAT, which sits under the auspices of the South African government, conditionally approved the deal after travelling to London in January, Khumalo explained.

He added that the various government stakeholders had yet to be contacted, as had been intended by now, given that SAT is having to deal with the fallout of the leak.

“We are part of a broader tourism family, and we cannot simply proceed regardless of what our stakeholders are saying.

“We’ve got to be sensitive to what our partners are saying and make sure that everybody is on board, then we can move together holistically. So that is where the deal is right now.”

(BBC Sport)

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