The Liberia Football Association says they have terminated their Sponsorship with “Orange GSM Company” with immediate effect.
The Football house in March 2010, and then Cellcom GSM entered into a US$500,000 deal to sponsor the national football league, which was named the LFA-Cellcom National League. The deal later extended to the National Football Teams also in March of 2011.
The LFA in an official communication to Orange signed by its President Musa Hassan Bility said since the takeover of Cellcom by Orange, the LFA and Orange have not been able to agree a new term for the continuation of the Sponsorship Deal of football in the country.
“It has been the position of the LFA that the deal with Cellcom-GSM needed to be significantly increased and that unless this was done, the LFA was not in the position to commit the long-term sponsorship future of football to Orange”, the communication signed by the media consultant of the LFA Horatio Bobby Willie
According to the LFA release has not been Orange prepared for such arrangement but interestingly, has continued to use the LFA facilities for the past eleven months allegedly without any payment for several services.
The release also said the LFA believes the action by the GSM Company is unfair especially when it is fully aware that the sponsorship agreement has expired since 2016.
The football house has therefore requested the company to ensure the immediate removal of all Billboards from all LFA facilities within 48 hours as of Tuesday April 10, 2018 and that Orange must immediately remove all online and newspaper ads with LFA insignias.
The LFA has insisted that Orange must pay to the LFA the full cost of all Billboards and others Adverts at LFA Facilities within 30 days of its communication.
Meanwhile, the release said under the new FIFA regulation relating to sponsorship deals, all such deals will be opened to public bidding process and hope the new LFA Administration will not have problem if the company chooses to participate in any such bid.
The football house will go in to election this weekend on April 14, 2018 to elect new officials to run the FA for the next four years and getting a sponsor for the league and the national team is important for the growth of the game in Liberia.
When the Musa Bility led Administration arranged the deal as part of his campaign plan to commercialize football the s value of the national football team sponsorship deal was never mentioned, but few days later, the LFA president Musa Bility revealed that the agreement was worth about US$4.5million, which prove that the LFA-Cellcom’s deal was better than the previous sponsor, Lonestar Cell MTN, which was around US$2m something stakeholders in the country appreciated due to several neglects by other corporate institutions.
Seven months after Cellcom GSM and the Liberia Football Association(LFA) ended the half of million United Stated Dollars sponsorship deal, the mobile phone giant put pen to paper with the LFA to sponsor the National League once again in 2013.
Cellcom agreed another three-year sponsorship deal with the LFA in the tone of US$585,000.00. which ended in 2016.
An additional US$65,000.00 which totals the amount to US$650,000.00 was given for media and marketing but Sports Wreiters in the country did not realize such amount up to date.
At the Signing ceremony LFA President Musa Bility commended Cellcom for the gesture and term it as the best thing that have ever happen in the history of LFA.
“We are enjoying our relationship with Cellcom, but we have learned that somewhere down the line they have not gotten their fair share of the deal. We got lot of companies in this country, but if we see one trying to invest in something that is our passion, I think we should put them above all in this industry, because they don’t deserve any less than this,” he said.
Bility complain of the Liberian Government reliance of supporting football, noting what Cellcom did was to be supported by the government because football is the responsibility of the Liberian Government.
“The Liberian Government should not continue to reliant on its responsibility of supporting football, this is not right, it is not fair, this where we get together no matter what our differences maybe,” Bility said.
He called on the government to divert the US$15M in the budget for youth development to sports, noting sports can provide the highest number of jobs for young people in Liberia.