Vodacom Tanzania said yesterday it had decided to terminate its contract with the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to sponsor the Mainland Premier League. The firm signed a 3-year deal in 2019 worth a total of Sh9 billion, to end in 2021/22.
The deal was a milestone in Tanzanian football which experienced difficulties in the 2018/19 season which had no major sponsor.
Vodacom chief executive officer Hisham Hendi told The Citizen in an exclusive interview that they have already informed TFF about their decision. Hendi said that they have done this as required in the contract.
According to Hendi, they enjoyed the partnership with TFF, but due to the Sh30 billion loss in the 2020/21, financial year, they opted to stop sponsoring the league.
Hendi said they have been supporting Tanzanian football for not less than ten years, and were proud to be part and parcel of football development in Tanzania. “We have always been proud for the league to be named VPL for not less than 10 years, and we enjoyed the partnership.
We really liked it. But, what with the loss we have incurred, we opted not to continue the sponsorship. This is one of the costs that our firm has to cut,” Hendi said – adding that they had no alternative but to take the tough decision when they know that football is a most liked sport in the country.
“This is one of the hardest decisions that we had to take to cut our costs. Vodacom was paying Sh3billion per season,” he said, stressing that they have to take tough decisions to stay in business – not only in ending their soccer sponsorship, but also cutting other costs.
However, the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) chief executive officer, Almasy Kasongo, said that their contract with Vodacom Tanzania ends for the next season.
“We still have valid contract with Vodacom Tanzania which ends in 2021/22, and we do not have any other information about the matter,” said Kasongo when talking to The Citizen.