Absa to sponsor FA Cup

0
399
  • Negotiations at an advanced stage
  • Absa/Orange to co-sponsor FA Cup
  • FA Cup will return next year

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

South African bank, Absa are believed to be close to agreeing a deal with the Botswana Football Association (BFA) as one of the main sponsors for the local FA Cup. This publication has been reliably informed.

Its been almost more than five years since the last FA Cup tournament was held in the country, this was after the then main sponsor Coca Cola decided against renewing their contract with the BFA for the tournament in 2012. The tournament was played by all teams affiliated to BFA across the country.

During his campaign for BFA Presidency in 2016, McLean Letshwiti enlisted bringing back the FA Cup as one of his biggest mandates. It is understood that BFA have over the years difficulties in convincing companies to sponsor the competition.

Last year, it was believed that BFA had agreed terms with local network service provider Orange to sponsor the Cup, but according to reports there was a change  in budget earlier this year, which resulted in the deal temporarily put on hold. However Gazette Sport understands that BFA has instead approached another corporate giant to join in as one of the main sponsors for the FA Cup.

A senior ranking official of the bank over the weekend told Gazette Sport that they were looking into partnering with local football as a way of increasing their popularity in the country. He revealed that there were a number of initiatives that the bank would be undertaking in partnership to local football that would go a long way in benefiting the two parties. The official revealed this at an event that Absa and Barclays had over the weekend in which they hosted African legend Jay Jay Okocha.

When recently contacted on the progress of securing a sponsor for the FA Cup, BFA Public Relations Officer and Head of Marketing Tumo Mpatane denied to take any questions related to the FA Cup citing it as ‘very sensitive’, but rather referred it to his Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo.

The CEO, however denied any knowledge on the matter stating that the the only time they had approached Barclays for sponsorship for a different proposal.

“We are not aware of that, the only time we approached them was through the Premier League, requesting them to assist us with paying for our stadium fees not for the FA Cup,” Mfolo told Gazette Sport yesterday.

He added that, “We are still in talks with a potential sponsor, which I cannot reveal at this stage, but we can assure you that the FA Cup is coming back next year. The fixtures had already been done by the Premier League. The FA Cup is very important tournament for our football,” briefly said the CEO.

This publication understands that the FA Cup will have both Orange and Absa as the two main sponsors with the sponsorship expected to be running over millions of pulas.

Reports last year, suggested that Orange were willing to commit P30 million for three years, P10 million every season, but this is bound to change as a result of the budget changes at Orange.