CSA forced to apologize to a departing sponsor after board member shares derogatory tweets

CSA forced to apologize to a departing sponsor after board member shares derogatory tweets

The release also said the CSA is 'taking this matter very seriously' and necessary corrective action will be taken accordingly.

South Africa
South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The crisis in Cricket South Africa (CSA) has worsened with time. CSA was struck with a severe blow after it was recently suspended by the Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, a government body overlooking the broader sports in the country.

In the wake of the SASCOC takeover, Momentum, the ODI sponsor of the Proteas until 2021 decided to pull out of the contract. The contract, worth the equivalent of USD 1.2 million a year, is set to expire at the end of next April.

“Momentum has expressed that they are not satisfied with the current state of affairs at the CSA regarding governance and other reputational issues,” the company said in a release. Amid the unprecedented development, CSA was also forced to apologise to the departing sponsor after a board member rolled out a damaging late-night tweet.

CSA issued a statement while apologising to the sponsor

At 11.35 pm (South Africa time) on Tuesday, Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, one of CSA’s independent directors, tweeted: “Momentum forgets that we invest hundreds of millions in Momentum in our SOE [state-owned enterprises] and pension funds. I remember asking for the BBBEE [broad-based black economic empowerment, and affirmative action policy] certificate in my other board. Just check before you make an irrational decision.”

She was challenged on Wednesday morning by another poster, Dean Koen, who wrote: “That exact response is why all sponsorship should be withdrawn. The game of cricket is not about you or the board but rather all players and more importantly the development of the game.”

Kula-Ameyaw replied with: “I agree fully with you on that core group which is players. Without players, there is no cricket. You missing the point that Momentum gets business from the players, fans, citizens. I was happy that they fund the women’s team though it’s not transformation but marketing.”

She later deleted her first post, but it already had got viral. In the wake of such statements, CSA had to issue a statement, apologising to Momentum on behalf of Kula-Ameyaw.

“CSA sincerely apologises to Momentum for the unfortunate and unwarranted tweets made by one of our board members in her personal capacity,” the release quoted acting president Beresford Williams as saying. “CSA wishes to reiterate that Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw did not act in her professional position as a non-executive board member of CSA.

The release also said the CSA is ‘taking this matter very seriously’ and necessary corrective action will be taken accordingly. It’s not the first time Kula-Ameyaw has expressed such a statement.

During an online CSA press conference on August 28 she told reporters: “What I don’t like about cricket is they don’t predict how long they will play. Football is 45, 45 [minutes]; then you are done. I only watch the highlights of cricket, not the whole game. I don’t have time for that.”