There will be no prize that has been set aside for the Isles’ premier soccer league winners, the spokesman of the Zanzibar Football Association Munir Zacharia declared on Wednesday.
Zanzibar premiership has been hit by sponsorship controversies as it is conducted without sponsor.
Now in it’s second half of the season, the twelve teams have been digging deep into their coffers to meet the costs of travelling to match centres scattered between Pemba and Unguja.
Zacharia said ZFA is feeling sorry for the situation following a contractual breakdown with MV Seagull Ltd that was supposed to foot bills of the teams, particularly travelling between Unguja and Pemba.
In earlier agreement, the MV Seagull was supposed to meet the cost of prize package amounting to 18m/- with the winners scooping ten million shillings.
The runners-up team was supposed to get half of the winners’ prize and third placed team had three million shillings to take home at the end of the season.
The entire plan collapsed when the MV Seagull was involved in a business hitch after most of their vessels travelling between Unguja and Pemba destinations were blocked from operating.
The blockade was based on sea unworthiness and other technical shortfalls highlighted by the marine transport authority of Zanzibar.
“We are very sorry to say that there will be no prize packages for league winners this season following the business breakdown of the only sponsor we had successfully secured,” said Zacharia.
However, the ZFA spokesman still congratulated the premiership teams for honouring league fixtures by shouldering the expenditures associated with their participation in the league.
Zacharia said ZFA is looking forward to search for next season’s sponsor so that clubs will play a competitive league.
In related development, ZFA secretary general Masoud Attai said the body’s executive committee is expected to meet and evaluate the success of the league that kicked off in November last year.
Attai urged fans and other soccer stakeholders to support their teams in facilitating the smooth running of the league now in its second half of the season.
Attai admitted the fact that teams are struggling to meet the cost of competing in the league and he was appreciative for honoring the league fixtures despite the financial shortfall.
He said the withdrawal of the sponsors has been a big blow to the ZFA and the participating teams.
Unguja-based Premiership trio of Police, KMKM and Mundu are expected to travel all the way to Pemba to honour their league fixtures.
Zanzibar Government has been maintaining to avoid sponsorship from brewers.