THE Zambia Open Golf tournament has suffered a major blow after Mopani Copper Mines, its principal sponsor, has indicated it will no longer sponsor the event.
The Zambia Golf Union, early this year awarded Nkana Golf Club which is owned by Mopani the rights to stage the next three editions of the prestigious tournament that would go on up to 2022.
According to inside sources familiar with the development, the mining giant has indicated that due to its current weak financial position, it would not continue sponsoring golf, starting with next year’s Zambia Open.
The sources also indicated that rugby is another sport under Mopani’s sponsorship that faces the chop but football clubs would continue receiving sponsorship.
“It’s done, the decision has been made; there will be no sponsorship of the Zambia Open because of the dire financial situation we are currently facing. So, it was decided that these clubs, rugby and golf be self-sustaining going forward until our financial situation normalises, otherwise that is the position,” said the source.
“Football will continue, Nkana Football Club will not be touched, it’s only these other clubs that will have to run themselves for now.”
Nkana Golf Club captain Kendrick Silondwa said his club has not been officially communicated to though he has heard something to that effect.
Zambia Open organising committee chairperson Emmanuel Mutati was unreachable via phone by press time while Mopani public relations manager Nebert Mulenga’s phone went unanswered.
Mopani has been facing difficulties since its smelter broke down mid this year and will only resume operations in January next year after major repair works are done.