Telecommunications company, MTN, has renewed its agreement with the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) for the sponsorship of the Zambian Super League and the national team.

The agreement will see MTN sponsor the league for a further three years in a deal worth about $3 million. Under the terms of the agreement, MTN will offer sponsorship worth around $1.5 million for each of the first two years while terms will be reviewed for the third year. The agreement will extend MTN’s sponsorship and association with Zambian football to at least seven years as the South Africa based firm has been partnered with FAZ since 2010.

The deal also signals the progress which the Football Association of Zambia have made under the leadership of Kalusha Bwalya who is proving to be as good a leader as he was a footballer. Speaking at the announcement of the deal, Bwalya noted that the football governing body was proud to have extended its relationship with MTN.

“As an association charged with the huge responsibility of looking after the affairs of football on behalf of the many millions of Zambians, we are glad that once again we are concluding another deal with MTN that will better Zambian football,” Kalusha Bwalya said.

“We are glad that this deal will increase the value for each club in the Super League, and this should assist the clubs to move towards the goal of being professional and self-sufficient business entities,” he added.

Bwalya also made sure to add that the partnership with MTN has borne results both for the national team and the local Super League.

“Our partnership with MTN has obviously paid dividends to our soccer; the competition in the Super league the past two years is true testimony as the league championship has been decided on the very last day. This year the top three teams all had a chance of being Zambian champions. This development has somehow helped clubs to have some extra funding for their logistical support. All these positive developments can be attributed to our partnership with this Giant telecommunications company. Going forward we are hopeful that this marriage with MTN should be a long one that will yield much to the benefit of the many soccer stakeholders in the country,” he said.

Similarly, MTN Zambia Chief Executive Officer Abdul Ismail praised his company’s foresight in identifying the potential of Zambian football.

“Our partnership with FAZ started in 2010 when most companies did not think it prudent to invest in local football. MTN held a series of meetings with the FAZ president and his team and we were convinced that partnering with them was in the interest of Zambia’s number one passion, football!”

“Today, we are proud to be associated with the success scored by FAZ over the period of our partnership. These include, winning of the 2012 AFCON, hosting and winning of the 2013 COSAFA Senior Challenge and making the MTN FAZ Super league competitive and watched across Africa.” Ismail said.

The Zambian national team are due to make a 17th appearance at the African Cup of Nations next year and have been drawn alongside Democratic Republic of Congo, Cape Verde and Tunisia.

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