It has now been almost four years since the National Football League, which is arguably the most sought after sporting event in the country, lost its sole sponsor, BRALIRWA, under the flagship of its Primus brand.
When the deal hit a snag under yet-unclear circumstances, the league that attracts thousands of spectators every weekend, has solely depended on meagre handouts from government and gate collections.
Today we report that in yet another quest to win ‘sympathy’ from major corporate companies, the local football governing body which goes by a French acronym of FERWAFA, has written to different corporates soliciting for sponsorship of the forthcoming league.
In other countries, it would have been the direct opposite. Private Companies are the ones who chase for a chance to sponsor such a major league. They swarm clubs and players with sponsorship offers or paint stadiums with their corporate images.
Over the years, the game of football has slowly evolved from just another entertainment sport to a purely business venture from where different entities reap big as the game becomes even more entertaining because of the money being invested in it.
Our football team has managed to attain some recognisable levels but its success will always slide back if our league is not strengthened. This cannot be achieved if members of the corporate world do not come on board.
The blame for this situation in which our football finds itself can be cast two ways—the companies that have failed to utilise this opportunity that has been maximally exploited by their counterparts elsewhere, and the federation that has failed to come up with a clear policy of attracting sponsors.
With the government striving to attract multinational companies to invest in the country, FERWAFA should have been the first to swing into action to entice them to sponsor our much-revered soccer league.
After all most of these companies, especially the multi-nationals, are no stranger to this business of corporate social responsibility.
And this does not only apply only to soccer but to other sporting disciplines as well.