Africa-Press – Eswatini. The much-anticipated edition of this year’s Eswatini Post and Telecommunications Corporation (EPTC) Charity Cup is uncertain as the company is said to have suspended the sponsorship.
EPTC has enjoyed a close to 20-year relationship with Eswatini football after the telecommunications company started sponsoring the tournament in 2001.
This will come as a big blow to the Premier League of Eswatini, who are struggling with attracting sponsors for their tournaments.
The entity’s Managing Director, Themba Khumalo confirmed the company’s decision when it comes to the tournament’s sponsorship withdrawal when quizzed about the future of the tournament.
“Over the past 12 months, EPTC has engaged in a rigorous review of its CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative and other internal programmes. This was done with a deliberate aim of injecting stability and growth in the business.
“The corporation will in the future review its participation in these CSR activities once sustainability has been attained,” he said.
Eswatini Football Association Marketing and Communications Officer Muzi Radebe said he was yet to learn about the news.
“I haven’t heard about the matter which you are talking about therefore it would be folly of me to comment until I receive something official,” he said.
Reacting to the latest developments, Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Makhanya was coy when sought for comment on the latest developments.
He asked to comment once the Board of Governors had deliberated further on the issue as it would change a lot of expectations and operations in the organisation.
The one-day charity cup usually features the three big teams in the country, namely Manzini Wanderers, Mbabane Highlanders and Mbabane Swallows.
Meanwhile, capital city giants Highlanders are the defending champions of the tournament after beating Manzini Wanderers 3-1 in the last edition.
A brace from South African striker Josef Lekata and a Sabelo ‘Sawa’ Gamedze spot kick ensured that the black and white outfit clinched the last edition of the annual soccer spectacle in 2019, taking home the E1.1 million prize money.