MASERU — Vodacom Lesotho has signed a three-year Premier League sponsorship deal worth M3 million with the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa), bringing the company’s total football contribution to a record M6 million.
Months of speculation came to an end when the deal was finally announced at a swanky ceremony held at the Lehakoe Club on Monday night.
Vodacom will pump M1 million a season into the country’s leagues for the next three years.
That means in total Vodacom — whoch already has the three-year, M3 million Soccer Spectacular — will plough an unprecedented M6 million into Lesotho’s football until 2012.
“This is a new phase for our relationship with soccer in the country,” Vodacom’s managing director Malik Melamu said at the function.
“This is not the first time we are sponsoring the game. This (increase in sponsorship) is an acknowledgement to the football fraternity that we are happy with what we have seen.”
“Today we are celebrating the beginning of a new family Vodacom we are thankful for your support and to the teams we need to hold hands,” Premier League chairman and Lefa vice-president Tlholo Letete said.
As part of the deal, the telecommunications company will also sponsor the country’s other three leagues, the A, B and C divisions.
The night also saw the much awaited announcement of the eight teams that will participate in this year’s Soccer Spectacular, whose winner will walk away with M360 000.
“Football was becoming a joke. The spirit of football is improving, the (number of) votes show the spirit is high,” ‘Mathabiso Lepono, Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation said.
“This is is a historic event in the country. It is the first time someone parts with M2 million (per season).
“Let us use the money to the last cent. To Lefa let’s be transparent so that if do well the sponsor can increase the package.”
The Vodacom Soccer Spectacular kicks off on October 24.
Vodacom Soccer Spectacular quarter-finals (October 24, 25):
Bantu vs LCS
Matlama vs Qalo
Lioli vs Likhopo
LDF vs Manamela