Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fifa and friends outplayed in the Zhing Zhong war

The South African Revenue Service, FIFA and the South African Police are currently playing cat in the feline versus cat game, the mice being the thousands of street merchandisers selling fake replicas of World Cup soccer jerseys and other regalia. To date millions of Rands worth of World Cup shirts have been confiscated, but millions worth of more are finding their way into the parallel market.

I am no economist but what I know is that it is only the minority that will always settle for quality and originality at whatever cost For the majority of the populace, it is the power of the wallet that speaks. What the stakeholders such as Addidas, the South African Football association, SARS and FIFA should be evaluating is whether it is a worthwhile exercise to unlock resources in chasing up the vendors or should they sit down and come up with an economic plan. The same vendors buying and reselling cheap imports would surely love to be selling authentic merchanidise if they could secure it at the right price and sell it at a competitive rate.

At a price tag of between R600 - R800, the authentically licensed Bafana Bafana jersey for example, is out of reach for the majority of soccer loving South African fans. Even for those who can afford it, but are not hard core soccer fanatics, it might make more sense to buy a replica. Admittedly, Addidas has come up with cheaper options such as their soccer T-shirts,but many people are still opting for the fake soccer jersey that is priced at aournd R200, than to buy the similarly priced but less impressive approved T-Shirt. I do not think the argument that the expensive price tag comes with superior quality holds water as some of these “Zhing Zhongs,” are of a similar quality at a fraction of the cost. There difference in price should not be as huge as it is at the moment.

The official producers ought to realise that at times a winner takes it all attitude leads to one being the loser. A win-win scenario in this case is the best option, so gentlemen, how about you play ball?!


  1. Some of the genuine stuff is finding its way into the parallel market through the hijacking of shipments to retailers. So if you cant tell the difference between a fake and the original dont worry the fake may be "original".

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