THE Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) said they will not be derailed by Vodacom Tanzania Limited, decision to ceased bankrolling the top flight league.
On Monday, Vodacom Chief Executive Officer Hisham Hendi confirmed that the mobile company has stopped sponsoring the league, as a result of 30bn/- loss they made in 2020-21 financial year.
The firm signed a three-year deal in 2019 worth 9bn/- which was slated to end next season. In each season, the company was dishing out 3bn/-.
Responding to this latest decision yesterday, TPLB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Almas Kasongo said there are many companies which have shown interest to sponsor the premier league and discussions with them will begin immediately.
“Vodacom lately have had several financial problems and as I speak now, teams parading in the top flight league have not received their transport portion as required in the signed contract.
“They wrote us a letter indicating that they are going through difficult financial period as they were not making profit hence they requested us to find other means to cover transport fares of the teams for this season so that next season, they can pay back the debts.
“Those were our internal talks and according to the formalities, we were not supposed to disseminate such information to the public,” he said.
He added that the board conceded to the request by Vodacom considering the fact that they are their main partners in promoting football in the country.
“They have been sponsoring the league for nearly 20 years but after we received the official letter from them about the financial constraints they were going through, we conducted a meeting with leader of all teams in top flight league updating them about the situation.
“In one voice, they all understood to the challenges expressed by Vodacom in their letter and they agreed to have their transport money paid next season.
“All these were internal matters but because our colleagues have decided to come out and show intention to terminate the contract, there is nothing much to say from us,” Kasongo said.
He continued: “There are many companies which have shown interest to sponsor the league and we have began talks with them. We were simply delaying to talk to them because we had an active contract and it could have been unacceptable to let them aboard.”
“For us, this is not new because we already talked to them but all the time, we handled the issue internally but they have decided to go in public,” said Kasongo.
According to Kasongo, they were just waiting for such statement from Vodacom before making another step in seeking new league financiers.