Steinhoff high tackle for SA Rugby?

Steinhoff is the main sponsor of the Blitzboks. (Reuters)

Steinhoff is the main sponsor of the Blitzboks. (Reuters)

The current financial uncertainty regarding Steinhoff International Holdings could have financial implications for South African rugby.

Shares in the Stellenbosch-headquartered company fell by more than 80% since last Wednesday morning, when it announced its chief executive Markus Jooste was stepping down “with immediate effect” and PricewaterhouseCoopers had been retained to conduct an independent investigation into “accounting irregularities requiring further investigation”.

Steinhoff is the main sponsor of the Springbok Sevens team, the Blitzboks, while it is also one of the main sponsors of the Varsity Cup competition.

Steinhoff’s continued sponsorship of rugby in South Africa appears uncertain at this stage.

A spokesperson for SA Rugby told Sport24 on Tuesday that they were consulting with Steinhoff representatives regarding the road ahead.

“We are in conversation with Steinhoff about the options and once any conclusions have been reached we’ll make an announcement,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Varsity Cup also told Sport24 on Monday that there was “no clarity as yet” and that more on the matter would be announced in due course.

Varsity Cup 2018 is due to commence in seven weeks’ time on Monday, January 29 .

Steinhoff, which is registered in the Netherlands, has not yet given an update on what the accounting irregularities entail.

The multinational company has 12 000 stores in more than 30 countries, employing over 130 000 staff. In South Africa some of its well-known brands include Ackermans, Pep, Tekkie Town, Russells and HiFi Corp. – Sport24

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