BFA, Orange agree P12million FA Cup deal
Network providers Orange Botswana is reported to have agreed terms with Botswana Football Association (BFA) to sponsor the forgotten tournament otherwise known as FA cup. It is said the association is keen to breathe life into the tourney that was last staged nearly six years ago.
Sources at Orange company report that both BFA and Orange have roughly agreed a P 12 million sponsorship, and to show a measure of seriousness, the duo will sign a 3 year deal where an announcement will be made in the next few days. This effectively means the deal with be worth P 4 million per season. It is indicated that the association is more than willing to kick start the tournament as soon as January next year in case the schedule allows.
The tournament which features teams from regional leagues, First Division together with premier league clubs was last sponsored by Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) trading as Coca- Cola Company where the winner went home with a tune of P500-000. The last editon of the cup was won by Gaborone United under the tutelage of Philemon Makhwengwe’s in 2012, beating Mochudi Center Chiefs in a penalty shootout.
It has been six barren years as BFA struggles to secure a lucrative sponsor. In 2012, after Tebogo Sebego’s regime wrestled football power out of David Fani’s hands, promises were made that it shall be staged. Similar claims were repeated by Mac Lean Letshwiti’s regime.
It is reported however that the association once caught the attention of Choppies group as potential sponsors. It is said the country leading retailer shop expressed some misgivings about BFA‘s mal administration and therefore entertained a second thought- in process failing to commit.
At the close of last year, it was reported that BFA had engaged Orange Company and were on the verge of agreeing a possible deal of a three year contract. Orange were to sponsor the cup at a tune ofP30 million-of which P10 million was to be used for each season, it was claimed.
It was further said a winner was to pocket 1 million pula and will have a slot to participate at the Confederation of African football. In essence, the winner was likely to receive P 750 000, while the remaining P250 000 was to be instrumental in CAF competition games. But all these, it appears were rebuffed during the course of negotiations. Now sources are adamant that the company has finally agreed to commit.
In his speech at the company’s 2oth anniversary gala dinner hosted yesterday at Travel Lodge, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company Patrick Benon said they are happy to have returned to football after so many years. FA cup tournament was first held in the summer of 1992 under the brand sponsors, Coca-Cola.
Extension Gunners was the first team to win the tournament and Gaborone United, another premier league perennial campaigner, was the last club to take the cup home. However, history records indicate that the tournament was initially played in 1968, by then it was called Lions’ cup. According to records, both Gaborone United and Township Rollers won the tournament on six occasions. No team from lower divisions has ever won it.
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The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.
Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.
“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”
Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.
“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”
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By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.
Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.
“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”
He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”
However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”
“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”
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