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21/02/2014 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
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TELECOMS firm NetOne is in line to take over the Super Eight competition after BancABC officially confirmed that they have pulled out of the Premier Soccer League's annual Sup8r Knockout tournament.

NetOne fund the Charity Shield and last month poured $75,000 into the women football knockout competition.

BancABC are the principal sponsors of Highlanders and Dynamos while their other arm, BancEASY sponsor returnees Chapungu.

The financial institution has already signed $700,000 deals with both Highlanders and Dynamos for the new season.

BancABC head of marketing and communications Muriel Dowa said the bank was reviewing and re-aligning its football sponsorship.

"Please be advised that we will not be hosting the Sup8r tournament this year, the bank will be reviewing and re-aligning football sponsorship. We will, however, continue with the other soccer sponsorships that form part of our social investments," said Dowa.

Premier Soccer League chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele said the league would have the Super Eight tournament but declined to shed more light on the identity of the sponsor.

"We really would like to thank BancABC for the support they gave us, we are happy that they are still involved in football with their sponsorship of two clubs in our league. Indeed they left a mark in the history of domestic football," Ndebele said.

Sources, however, confirmed on Friday that Net One were interested in taking over the sponsorship with a deal being negotiated by Twine Phiri, the incumbent PSL boss, who is facing an election on March 9 against Dynamos boss Kenny Mubaiwa.

"The deal is as good as done and could be announced before the elections as Phiri wants to launch his campaign for re-election on that. Remember, Net One has previously Caps United and have been
involved with the Charity Shield in the last three years," sources said.

Net One managing director Reward Kangai, speaking at the launch of the women's football tourney in January, said his company would like to be more involved in the game, signalling an intention to take over the knockout tournament as part of their corporate social responsibility.

The PSL is already assured of the Mbada Diamonds Cup that will run from October to November.

The PSL meets in Harare on Saturday to amend its constitution ahead of the March 9 plebiscite. Four new clubs-ZPC Kariba, Bantu Rovers, Chapungu and Chiredzi will be introduced to the congress.


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