MASERU — Vodacom Lesotho is set to unveil the country’s richest ever football deal although it is likely to leave the domestic game’s major sponsor on the edge.
Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) officials yesterday remained tight-lipped over the impending sponsorship deal believed to be worth a whopping M3 million for the next three years.
The Lesotho Times, however, has it on good authority the mobile telephone services provider has already sealed the deal for the Vodacom Spectacular tournament.
The tournament was started last year but encountered several problems as LEFA sought to wrest the running of the gala from a non-governmental organisation that came up with the initiative.
The Vodacom Spectacular tournament was bankrolled to the tune of M400 000.
There was speculation that Econet Telecom Lesotho, which sponsors football from the Premier League to lower divisions, was not at ease with Vodacom Lesotho’s involvement in the game.
The two telecommunications companies are bitter rivals.
Vodacom Lesotho’s decision to increase its sponsorship of the knockout tournament might be seen as a slap in the face of Econet Telecom Lesotho, which recently revealed it had injected up to M700 000 in football last season.
Officials at both Econet Telecom Lesotho and Vodacom Lesotho declined to comment yesterday.
The Vodacom Soccer Spectacular tournament was last year a one-day bonanza featuring four teams determined via the short message service.
The “popularity” poll included all 16 Premier League teams as well all 20 first division teams.
Lioli, LCS, LDF and Naughty Boys garnered the most votes that guaranteed them an appearance in the tournament’s finals.
LCS overcame LDF on penalties in the final at the Bambatha Ts’ita arena to lift the inaugural Vodacom Spectacular trophy.
This year eight teams will be chosen from the sms competition.