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League to get new sponsor

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) is expected to unveil a new sponsor after cutting ties with telecommunications giant Econet Telecom Lesotho.
The identity of the new sponsor is being kept under wraps, although speculation is rife Vodacom Lesotho is on the verge of taking over from its telecommunications rival.
The Premier League started last week without a brand sponsor.
Econet had, through its Buddie product, been sponsoring the Premier League and lower division football since 2005.
The telecommunications company announced a new sponsorship deal during the Premier League awards ceremony last month.
However, the Lesotho Times can reveal that LEFA has not taken up Econet’s proposal to renew the sponsorship deal, which last season was worth about M750 000.
LEFA’s acting chief executive officer Mokhosi Mohapi confirmed the football mother body was in the hunt for a new sponsor.
He, however, was non-committal on the identity of the likely sponsor.
“The sponsorship of the league is open and we are negotiating with a sponsor,” Mohapi said.
Although LEFA officials have been evasive about the goings-on at their Bambatha Tsita headquarters, sources said Vodacom was likely to be the new sponsor.
The sources claimed that a memorandum had yesterday been sent out to all football clubs naming Vodacom as the new sponsor for all leagues.
The Lesotho Times could however, at the time of going to print, verify the authenticity of the said memo.
LEFA public relations officer Baba Malephane denied that any agreement had been reached with any sponsor.
He could only say: “Next week Tuesday we are going to announce the way forward.”
Vodacom spokesperson Thabiso Mlungwane, who also oversees the company’s sponsorships and promotions, also denied that a deal with LEFA was on the cards.
He said nothing had been discussed with LEFA concerning sponsorship.
“There were many proposals from people in the football fraternity and they had different focuses,” he said.
“I have seen nothing about the league.”
“If there was anything like that LEFA would have come to us.
“They are the ones who should have come to us and told us if there was no sponsor this year.
Asked if they would entertain that proposal, Mlungwane said: “It will depend on the management because such matters have to be discussed by the management.”
Officials at Econet could not be reached for comment but an insider confirmed LEFA had cut ties with the telecommunications company.
“They did not renew the contract,” the highly placed insider said.
“We had hoped that they would renew it and we were prepared to negotiate for an increase.
“We don’t believe relations between us and LEFA are spoiled.
“There is likely to be a joint statement on this issue but we don’t know when.
“We believe there is still room for talks.”

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