Mbabane: Confusion is reigning supreme with the country’s national squads on which technical sponsor exactly are they using.
While since the COSAFA Senior Challenge back in June last year, Sihlangu have been using Italian sportswear Macron but it is not the case with the junior national squads. In September 2019, the Under-17s were using the old Adidas strip in the COSAFA Cup staged in Malawi and again it was the case with the Under-20s as they participated in the COSAFA Championships in Zambia.
Normally, national squads use the same technical sponsor.
Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has a partnership involving the supply of home and away kits for the senior national squad by Macron, among other items. Sihlangu paraded their new jersey, which is predominantly blue during the COSAFA Cup in Durban, South Africa, mid-2019.
The newly-launched EFA logo also appears on the new kit.
Macron is a reputable international brand. In November it sponsored Africa Cup of Nations participants Harambee Stars of Kenya. Other African nations on board are Guinea and Guinea-Bissau.
Founded in 1971, it is considered a European leader in the production of active sportswear. Other national teams that are reportedly under their umbrella since 2013 are Ireland, Malta, Norway, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, among others.
It operates in three main business areas; team wear, merchandising and leisurewear. A major expansion of the organization took place in 1994, coincident with relocation and consolidation to Crespellano and it began providing team wear to professional football in 2001, its first contract being with Bologna.
Expansion beyond the domestic Italian market began in 2005.
Explaining the official position of EFA, Marketing and Communications Officer Muzi Radebe said there was no technical sponsorship deal for the national squads.
“There is no technical sponsor for our national squads and the kit used by Sihlangu was purchased from Macron and not supplied. EFA is still working around the clock to secure an official technical sponsor for the national teams which probably will be announced soon,” Radebe said.