Former MTC Premiership champions, Tigers, could find themselves in trouble with the Namibia Premier League (NPL), after social media reports suggested that MTN is set to become the club’s sponsor next season.
MTN Namibia recently announced plans to launch a mobile telecommunications service onto the local market among a host of other products that the company will be introducing.
In the just ended season, Tigers sold some of its replica jerseys to supporters with the MTN logo placed in front instead of the MTC logo, but part of the agreement between MTC and the NPL states that no direct competitor of the sponsor will be allowed to associate itself or have its name branded on the playing gear of a club that is playing in the NPL.
Tigers are bankrolled by businessman, Vaino Nghipondokwa, who has a 30 percent shareholding in MTN Namibia through his Profile Technologies, a subsidiary of Profile Investment Holdings.
MTC and FNB are the two main sponsors of the league and have made a combined commitment of N$60 million for a period of three years.
Currently, all 16 NPL clubs receive a monthly grant of N$65,000 to cover their day-to-day costs including transport, accommodation and players salaries.
NPL chief administrator, Tovey //Hoebeb told the Windhoek Observer that as part of the agreement signed between MTC, FNB and the NPL last year, no direct competitor will be allowed to associate itself with a club that is playing in the league.
He said reports on social media about MTN possibly becoming a new sponsor of Tigers, will create a conflict of interest with MTC.
//Hoebeb, however, said that Tigers has not approached his office to inform him on whether MTN will partner with the club in the near future.
“It is a big dispute. It is a conflict of interest. You remember in the past with Leo (now tn Mobile) when their brands were at the stadium while MTC was the sponsor, it created a conflict of interest. For now it is just a rumour which I also saw on social media. They (Tigers) have not yet informed me about it,” //Hoebeb said.
Although Tigers’ executive member, Lucas Nanyemba, could not confirm or deny the rumours, he said he does not see anything wrong with having a sponsor as that is the norm worldwide.
“In England, the league is sponsored by Barclays, but do you see those clubs having a Barclays logo? Manchester United has Chevrolet, while Liverpool has Standard Chartered. We did not even add that logo (MTN) and we have not transgressed any rules.
“Rundu Chiefs had a Richelieu brand on their gear (2015), but did you write about them? The more sponsors, the bigger Tigers becomes,” Nanyemba said.