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By Duncan Kgangkenna
After a six year hiatus, the long wait is over and the Orange FA cup is finally here. The Orange FA cup which is played by teams from the lower divisions up to the premiership has been sponsored by Orange Botswana to the tune of P12.6 million over three seasons.
Orange Botswana CEO, Dr Patrick Benon said Orange always seek avenues through which they can support and contribute significantly towards the growth and development of local sports and talent. The CEO also said his company is committed to helping the growth of local football development programmes and strive to cultivate talent and to grow the local sport industry.
Forty eight (48) teams are expected to slug it out for the P700 000 winners prize money. Sixteen regional teams, 8 First division North and 8 First division South and Sixteen teams from the previous league season will make the group that will play the tournament. The tournament gives small teams an opportunity to play against the teams from the elite league.
Orange has in the past been engaged in sponsorships such as Orange Kabelano Charity Cup, Orange Phikwe National Marathon and has been the official Zebras national team sponsor ahead of their historic and maiden appearance at the AFCON finals.
“Through these sponsorships, we have realised the significance of sport activities beyond unity and strengthening of relationships. Sport is increasingly becoming an industry of importance economic diversification. It has led to creation of employment for the youth including some of our international players such as Tsoso Ngele. We are passionate about doing more in this space and Orange FA Cup is the realization of that passion,” says Benon.
For his part the BFA president is of the view that football should be taken as business and there is need for companies to engage in football development like Orange Botswana. “Sponsorship is key to football as this is how our industry can grow and change life’s of footballers. When we crafted this sponsorship we wanted a sponsorship that can assist regional teams and have a fair balanced share across,” Letshwiti observed.
He explained that the Orange FA cup offers a great opportunity for all the leagues and structures to be scouted and seen by national teams’ coaches across board. Letshwiti also explained that the orange FA will avail an opportunity to close the gap between the local leagues and increase competition for participation or qualification.
The tournament is expected to start in January 2019.
The Prize Money will be as follows;
First Round: P5 000
Last 16 : P25 000
Semi finals: P150 000
Runners Up: P350 000
Champions: P700, 000