A cash strapped South African Football Association(SAFA) has received a lifeline following an announcement of a sponsorship with a major insurance company.

This comes at time when the football body is in deep financial crisis.

The partnership withe the insurance company will focus on the development and empowerment of match officials.

SAFA vice president Ria Ledwaba admitted that the association is facing financial challenges.

Last week the sheriff visited the SAFA’s headquarters to attach some of its assets.

Ledwaba said the situation is due to none payment by some of their creditors, suggesting that there was no need to press panic button.

Although the deal is specifically meant to benefit the referees, it is a huge relief to football’s mother body.

Ledwada says: “SAFA depends on the sponsorship so if the is a delay in the payment of that sponsorship, it will definitely affect the association.”

“I can however assure you that we are in the process of addressing that with our partner and that will be addressed in due course.”

The new partnership agreement is worth R50 million over five years and it will be used at all levels of SAFA’s referees programmes.

More importantly, the match officials will be paid on the time.

The referees will start to wear their new kit this weekend when the domestic leagues resume following the international break.