?> Feature: Vodafone, MTN Competition Only Healthy When Bidding For The Rights | ZamFoot

Feature: Vodafone, MTN Competition Only Healthy When Bidding For The Rights

Many people have slammed the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) for blocking MTN, Vodafone competition during Super Division matches entailing City of Lusaka, by banning the use of a stadium with the name of the latter.

The two mobile network giants; one is an  official sponsor of the Zambia Super Division, the other sponsors City of Lusaka’s Stadium, and is determined not to be in affirmative with the stance of the country’s football governing body.

According to FAZ, the moral highway is for City Ya Moto to scrap off Vodafone posters at their stadium which have the potential of compromising the league sponsorship deal with MTN.

Indeed, any compromise of the FAZ, MTN Super league sponsorship deal could put the entire tier at stake. If the latter threatens to pull out, it can have an effect on all the clubs in Zambia.

Getting back to the issue at hand: healthy competition between Vodafone and MTN. The Chilenje hailing outfit, courtesy of its Communications manager, Alex Basopo Njovu have urged the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to take a keen eye in this matter, while throwing a challenge on FAZ to disclose their league sponsorship terms.

“We further challenge FAZ to disclose the whole MTN deal to the Zambian football fraternity.

“The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) and other bodies must take a keen interest in this matter,” he said in a statement released to the press.

Now, when should fair competition of synonymous companies be protected by CCPC?

To drive home a point, here is an example of various men courting a woman. At this point, the playing field is levelled for these men to compete fairly and impress the lady.

The gentleman who wins the lady’s heart and ties the knot to her, puts to halt competition; and not even CCPC can interfere when he is warding off other men from seducing her.

Another obvious reference is CAF awarding their broadcasting rights to a French company Légaderé without putting them on the market.

The Egyptian Competition Commission (ECC) had a case here and of course refereed CAF President, by then Issa Hayatou to prosecution.

So, in this regard, CCPC can only protect their interest of competition to be embraced during the bidding process.

At this moment, MTN does not need to compete with anyone during any super league match. And if Vodafone wants competition in Zambian league football, they should wait for the sponsorship deal to run out, and then enter the bidding race.

3 Comments to Feature: Vodafone, MTN Competition Only Healthy When Bidding For The Rights

  1. Logic says:

    On the one hand I see the need by MTN to protect their interests but on the other hand, you have rightly pointed out that this is in no way a direct competition of the spot occupied by MTN in football circles. FAZ has to embrace all progressive partners that come on board to sponsor teams and develop infrastructure. What Vodafone has done is to breathe life into an outfit that was basically dead and this should be supported by all well meaning Zambians. In fact this should be viewed as a blueprint for sponsorship because it goes beyond a token gesture of giving money but invests in infrastructure and ensures that the impact of their partnership will be felt way beyond the term of the sponsorship. YOu can strike a compromise where all televised games at Woodlands stadium have the vodafone branding covered up that way MTN is the only visible provider. City should not be penalized for using their initiative to bring on partners that they desperately needed. Taking away their ability to have a home ground advantage is tantamount to creating and uneven playing field for them. I have said this before, FAZ needs to stop acting like a daddy and start to treat clubs as equal partners in the running of football. Actions like these are the reason people advocate for having a stand alone league that is divorced from FAZ, like they have in other countries.

  2. G-Rock says:

    But the same MTN sponsors MTN 8 in South Africa where Kazier Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have donned jerseys sponsored by Vadacom.
    Does MTN Zambia bar teams to have jerseys or stadia naming right and if that’s the case then only FAZ and MTN are the real beneficiary in this deal.
    I say so because the prize monies given to the teams in the league is very small..

  3. Papa says:

    It does not help comparing with the situation obtaining in other countries, what matters in this regard is what sort of contract FAZ signed with MTN and the obligations and limits it imposes on the association. If FAZ signed a contract giving exclusive advertising rights to MTN then there is nothing that can be done other than re-negotiating the deal with MTN. Perhaps, it is also time for the teams in the Premier League to start negotiating with FAZ about things like image rights and advertising rights.

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