THE 2009 Cecafa Challenge Cup is set to go after receiving big sponsorship from Orange. The French telecommunications company splashed Rwf99.4m in the annual tournament which still ranks as one of the most prominent soccer tournaments in Africa.
The deal was announced by the company’s chief executive officer; Mickael Ghossein and Orange were immediately awarded naming rights for the 33rd edition which will be jointly held in Nairobi and Mumias from November 28 to December 13.
Orange said they would spend a further undisclosed amount on promoting and broadcasting the regional soccer fete while also providing internet connection to journalists covering the tournament from the media centers at the venues.
Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye yesterday disclosed that the Challenge Cup would involve all the 11 member nations and two guest teams; Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Orange’s sponsorship is a big relief for the regional football body which has struggled financially after the collapse of its multi-million dollar sponsor-GTV. The pay satellite television station terminated operations early this year.
The announcement comes in the wake of a recent move by the brand to sponsor the African Nations Cup, the CAF Champions League, the CAF Confederations Cup, the Super Cup, the Africa Championship and the African Youth Championship for the next eight years.
The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation is partnering with SuperSport to air the matches live.
Initially, Cecafa had secured valuable contributions from the Kenyan government (Rwf45.4m) and the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) - Rwf15m.
It is the first time in 15 years that Kenya is hosting the event.