ZIFA have revealed that they are courting Delta Beverages to bankroll the Football Association Cup as part of the mother body’s Golden Jubilee anniversary.
Delta Beverages, through their Castle Lager brand, are the Premier Soccer League’s flagship sponsors.
The brewing giant’s parent company — South African Breweries — have also revived the Cosafa Castle Cup, which will be staged in Zambia in July and will involve 14 Southern African countries with champions Zimbabwe starting the defence of their title with a quarter-final clash against Malawi in Lusaka on July 13.
On Tuesday Zifa, who are desperate to have the FA Cup back on the calendar, also publicly offered Delta Beverages an opportunity to come on board and revive the competition, which also used to be known as the Castle Cup and later the Natbrew Zifa Cup.
Zifa vice-president, Ndumiso Gumede, told guests at a function for the Zimbabwe edition of the Cosafa Cup road show in the capital that they would also reserve a special place in the envisaged Zimbabwe Football Hall of fame for Delta Beverages for being the association’s long term corporate partner.
The Cosafa Cup is on a road show among some of the participating countries and yesterday’s function attracted a cross section of football’s stakeholders.
Gumede said Delta Beverages through the Castle Lager brand had also been “football’s all weather friends’’.
“The Castle Breweries has been the brewery of choice as evidenced by the brands they have offered the region. The region’s drinking population has found it difficult to dump Castle Breweries for any other brewery.
“The marriage between Castle Breweries and Football dates as far back as the 1960s when Castle Cup was the premier main sponsors of the FA Cup and we are tempted to extend an invitation to Delta Beverages to be the main benefactor of the Premier knockout tourney whose participants shall come from all corners of our football landscape.
“As Zifa turns 50 this month, it is only fair that we celebrate the Golden Jubilee together with Delta Beverages and Castle Breweries. You have been an all-weather friend since time immemorial and to that end we feel obliged to let you ride on our history through various promotional programmes throughout 2013 and beyond.Advertisement
“The Hall of Fame, which shall be opened at our Zifa Village, shall no doubt have a special place reserved for Castle Breweries and Delta Beverages’’.
Gumede also said it was unfortunate that there appeared to be questions on the brewing giants’ sponsorship package for the domestic Premiership, which reportedly caused discomfort within the Delta Beverages’ corridors of power.
“Let me assure Delta Beverages that football shall never let you down. Statements that may have come from certain individuals on your support for football are regrettable and rest assured appropriate action shall be taken.
“We sincerely apologise for the discomfort that the statements in question may have caused to you and we know that your sponsorship for football is not peanuts’’.
The Zifa vice-president also lauded the return of the Cosafa Cup which he said would once again provide the platform for local talent to explode and gain international recognition while ensuring that the Southern African region maintained its proud record of having a branded regional men’s and women’s tournaments.