JUST IN: ZIFA, Umbro bury hatchet

Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has buried the hatchet with English sportswear and football equipment supplier, Umbro.

This comes after ZIFA announced the consummation of a long-term partnership as the parties begin their preparations for the upcoming Total Africa Cup of Nations finals set for Egypt in June.  

The Warriors begin their campaign against Egypt in the prestigious opening match on June 21 2019 and will wear the Umbro designed kit which incorporates the most advanced lightweight performance fabrics designed for movement and breathability.

“The parties also confirmed the plans for the official kit launch which will be held on the 16th of May in Harare at a retail partner to be announced. Replica jerseys and supporters’ apparel will also be available for purchase on the day,” ZIFA spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said.

“The Warriors home kit was inspired by Zimbabwe’s traditional yellow jersey with an added modern twist, using a mix of solid and gradient red vertical stripes.”

He added:

 “This clean and contemporary design ensures the home jersey will be a fan favorite. The away kit was inspired by the traditional colours of the Zimbabwean national flag.”

ZIFA said Umbro had committed to partnering with major local retailers to distribute replica products and supporters gear to ensure that fans can participate in the growth and performance of the AFCON bound national team.

ZIFA president Felton Kamambo believes the recommitment of ZIFA and Umbro will end speculation over the two parties tumultuous relationship.

“This should end all speculation in the marketplace about our partnership,” he said.

“We are proud to partner with such an established global sportswear brand and the parties have been working extremely hard over the past few weeks to structure this long-term partnership! We are in this for the long term and are excited about the opportunity”

David Ricketts the Chief Executive Officer of UMBRO South Africa added that the sportswear suppliers were excited at the opportunity to partner Zimbabwe as they embark on their AFCON campaign.

“We have created fantastic designs and superior technical kit befitting Zimbabwe’s passionate fans. This partnership forms a very important part of our expansion in Southern Africa and we are delighted to be part of this journey with ZIFA,”he said. 

The two parties’ relationship got off to the worse possible start amid bungling logistics surrounding the much hyped three-year kit sponsorship deal between ZIFA and British sportswear supplier Umbro.  

The consignment of kits for all national teams was expected to be available for the AFCON qualifiers, ZIFA had said in February, but kit came through in drips and drabs with the association tight-lipped on the small-print of the deal.