The Telco ended the partnership with Tanzania’s league owing to financial challenges experienced, especially in 2020/21
The Tanzania Premier League Board has revealed they are ready to move on after the exit of Vodacom as the Mainland Premier League sponsors.
After a long association, the telecommunications firm ended its relationship with Tanzania’s top flight due to financial difficulties.
A Tsh30 billion loss in the last financial year is the main reason why they ended the contract – which would have come to an end at the end of last season – early.
Vodacom were to disburse Tsh9 billion – Tsh3 billion each season – to the league, but a huge loss made in the 2020/21 financial year is all that brought to an end a three-year deal that was signed in 2019.
TPLB CEO Almas Kasongo said they are ready to move without their long-time partner.
“Vodacom lately have had 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,” Kasongo told Daily News.
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“They wrote us a letter indicating they were facing difficult periods as they were not making profits, so they asked us to find other means to cover transport fares for this season, so that next season they can pay back the debt.
“Those were our internal talks and, according to our formalities, we are not supposed to disseminate such information to the public.
“They have been sponsoring the league for nearly 20 years, but when we received the official letter from them on the financial constraints they were going through, we conducted a meeting with the leaders of all the teams to update them on the situation.
“In one voice, they all understood the challenges expressed by Vodacom in the letter and agreed to pay all their transport fares for the season, which will be paid back next season.
“All these were internal matters, but since our colleagues have come out in public and shown the intention of terminating the contract, there is nothing much we can say from our side.”
Kasongo added that there are numerous companies that have shown interest in partnering with the Tanzania top flight: “There are several companies that have shown interest in sponsoring the league and we have begun talks with them. We were only delaying talks because we already had an active contract and it could have been unacceptable to have 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 public.”
Vodacom left at a time when Azam TV had just signed a new big Premier League broadcasting deal with the Tanzania Football Federation.