NEDBANK Lesotho has injected a whopping M750 000 into the A Division Top8 tournament to be spread over three years.
This was announced at a joint media briefing by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) and Nedbank in Maseru yesterday.
The briefing was graced by among others, the sports minister Mahali Phamotse, finance minister Moeketsi Majoro, the deputy principal secretary at the ministry of sports Mabataung Khalane, All Basotho Convention’s (ABC) Motimposo legislator Thabang Mafojane and Nedbank’s top management staff.
The tournament is played by eight A Division teams which finish in the top four of the North and South streams. Teams from the North Stream will face those from the South Stream.
Lifofane will face Lithabaneng Golden while Limkokwing University will play Lijabatho on Saturday. Manonyane will host Litšilo while CCX will face Qacha’s Nek LMPS on Sunday. All the quarterfinals will be played at Bambatha.
The prizes for the winners will be announced tomorrow (Friday).
Nedbank Lesotho Managing Director Papa Sekyiamah said the money will be spread over three years and the bank will annually finance the tournament to the tune of M250 000.
Sekyiamah said they have decided to sponsor the tournament as a way of continuing their mission of helping in sport development in Southern Africa.
“We will be sponsoring the Top8 tournament and champs of champs (played by winners from North and South stream leagues) for three years but we believe this is just the beginning and we are looking forward to this partnership,” Sekyiamah said.
“Sports play a vital role in society. Not only do they provide entertainment, they also keep us fit. Nedbank has always been a key supporter of sports development in southern Africa.”
He said they have series of events across the SADC region and they are also proud to include football in Lesotho.
“In South Africa we have the Nedbank Cup and Nedbank Ke Yona where thousands of young footballers get the opportunity to impress selectors and earn a spot in a team that plays the Nedbank Cup winners.
“In Namibia we have a cycling programme which incorporates the Nedbank desert dash, the cycling challenge and the African continental marathon championship. We also have the Mohokare Golf Classic in Lesotho and the Mountain Bike Championship and we are proud today to add football onto the list of sport initiatives that we sponsor,” Sekyiamah said.
LeFA president Salemane Phafane thanked Nedbank and urged the teams to respect the sponsors.
“We are very proud as LeFA to be associated with the financial institution.
“We wish to assure you that your brand is in good hands. We will proudly wear Nedbank and talk Nedbank because we are happy to be in this marriage. We are sure in all the games that we are going to play under this marriage, you will be proud of the decision that you have made,” Phafane said.
The LeFA boss said although it was not easy to reach the decision, it was still worth it.
“There were ups and downs when negotiating this deal. There were times when one was no longer sure that this day will eventually come but we thank the Nedbank staff for their great efforts.
“We look forward to working with you and to promote Nedbank and football as a brand,” Phafane added.