LEADING telecommunications company, MTN Zambia and the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) have renewed their partnership in football development.

To drive the next phase of football growth in the country, the mobile phone network provider has signed a sponsorship agreement worth K43,650,000 with FAZ to provide financial and material support to the association for the next three years.

The new partnership agreement that starts from 2021-2023 will see the name changed from FAZ/MTN Super League to MTN Super League as part of the naming rights.

This will see FAZ earn K14 million every year from MTN that will go to the Super League teams and the senior men’s national team.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lusaka yesterday, FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said his executive was happy to have sponsors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has become increasingly difficult to gather in this manner and exchange ideas that can take our game forward. Our stadia are still enduring empty stands owing to the absence of fans that are the lifeblood of the game. However, amidst this despair, we are happy that some of the most progressive partners have not closed their doors,” he said. “MTN Zambia has been an all-weather partner with a relationship that dates more than a decade ago. On our part we are happy that they have unveiled an improved sponsorship package that will be divided between the package for the 18 Super League teams and the senior men’s national team. We have also committed to keep our pledge to ensure the bulk of this sponsorship directly benefits our members. We demonstrated this when we bumped up the entitlement for our members from K7,000 to a minimum of the K200,000. In the same spirit we shall revise the allocations for our members.”

The over K14 million that FAZ will be receiving every year for a period of three years will see the national team get K6 million and another K6 million for the Super League teams with the balance being used for administrative purposes.

The deal will also see Super League teams receive K400,000 from MTN while K600,000 will come from SuperSport, making a total of K1 million every year.

Kamanga added that his executive will prudently manage all the support that comes to the association.

“MTN has also demonstrated its commitment by improving the package to K14,550,000 that will be measured in material and financial support. As FAZ we have made a commitment to all our partners to prudently manage all the support that comes our way. This is not about to change with renewed commitment toward transparency and accountability,” said Kamanga. “We would also like to appeal to other corporate bodies to emulate MTN for coming on board to invest in football. We have many opportunities in football that they can take advantage of. We have opportunities in insurance, transport, and hospitality that other corporate bodies can take advantage of. We are running 10 provincial cups that are open to sponsorship by corporate bodies including naming rights. We want to thank MTN for the continued support towards the game”

MTN Zambia chief executive officer Bart Hofker said the partnership with FAZ was a worth investment because football was close to the hearts of millions of Zambians.

“Despite all these challenging times and not having an audience in the stadiums to watch the games, we have continued to support FAZ and would like to strengthen our commitment as true partners. We consider this partnership with FAZ as worthy investment because we realise that football is close to the hearts of the million Zambians who are united through this sport,” said Hofker. “With this in mind, I wish to announce that MTN Zambia is today renewing its contract with FAZ for the next three years towards the support to the national team and the Super League in the sum of K43,650,000 and we hope that the sponsorship will go a long way in meeting the association’s objectives.”

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