Zanzibar Football Association has beaten the Government following its shocking decision to sign a three-year sponsorship contract with the Tanzania Breweries for premier soccer league.
TBL has become the first brewer to break the long overdue quest by ZFA to admit them into football sponsorship.
The ZFA has landed a lucrative 140m/- sponsorship package through Grand Malt beverage in footing for staging the top flight league.
The contract was sealed off yesterday as ZFA vice-president Ally Mohamed TBL’s marketing director Kushilla Thomas exchanged the signed documents at the Bwawani Hotel here.
Zanzibar’s minister for tourism, culture and sports Said Ali Mbarouk said the contract would play a big role in promotion of football in the island.
He said Zanzibar might bounce back in its former state as a football hub as funds would ease the hurdles of footing the massive expenditures to run the premiership.
He said Zanzibar Government has approved the sponsorship basing on the fact that the Grand Malt is a beverage free of alcohol.
In a bizarre statement, the minister said the Government stance in avoiding sponsorship from alcohol is still intact despite blessing the brewers into the football support.
“We need Zanzibar to shine in soccer through wining silverwares but it must be noted that the Government does not back alcohol related sponsorship”, said Mbarouk.
The ZFA vice-president Mohamed said the new sponsors have come at the right time to ease football crisis in Zanzibar and hope to ease burden in running the top flight league.
He said ZFA will be providing full support in the promotion of the brand that backs the league.
He also made a call to clubs to value the size of the support provided by the Tanzania Breweries.
Brand manager of the beverage supporting the league Consolata Adam said the sponsorship package is equivalent to cover 70 percent of the entire budget proposed by the ZFA to cover expenditures.
The three-year contract is renewable at the end of every tenure banking on the prevailing circumstances.
The manager said the new deal has extended further the promotion of the beverage that also supports the annual Sauti za Busara festivities.
Most of the premier clubs officials who attended the signing up ceremony have congratulated ZFA for the deal but warned that the funds must be sent with precise care and extreme prudence should prevail.
The club leaders said all the money availed for the league must not be diverted into other use.
Over the past three years the Zanzibar premier soccer league has been run with high frequency turbulence as money stood to be the stumbling block.
Mobile telephone service providers Zantel used to back the league before pulling out two years ago.
Then came the Seagul contract that left ZFA in total disarray last October as the league was frozen.