Ezulwini: The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Eswatini, Wandile Mtshali has announced a sponsorship worth E6 Million towards the Premier League of Eswatini for the 2021/2022 season. Making his remarks during the launch Mntshali mentioned that the sponsorship comes at a time when the Prime Minister has announced the relaxation of the Covid 19 regulations and as such fans are encouraged to participate in the vaccination programme in order to gain access to the stadium.
Mtshali remarked that “football unites all cultures and languages and by enjoying the game daily we create an environment in which we can rebuild our society. Small business people should take advantage of the opportunities that will be created by the start of the football season and avail their products and services to the fans.”
“Although there have been challenges, the relationship that we have with the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) is such that we have been able to continue with our sponsorship. We encourage teams to take care of themselves and to demonstrate good behavior at all times. This includes the players and the fans. MTN’s products will be available at all times to the fans and supporters during all PLE games. Most importantly though, is that the partnership between MTN, PLE, and the supporters still lives on.”
The Chairperson of the Premier League, Mark Carmichael, expressed his gratitude to His Majesty’s government for permitting fans back to the stadiums. He gave thanks to MTN for partnering with the PLE, saying “soccer is an industry, it is a business with spin-offs over and above the E 6 Million gesture that has been offered to us today. For us to deliver the league and the games to the fans requires a lot of planning and organizing. We are humbled, honored and privileged to accept the sponsorship from MTN.”
The President of the Eswatini Football Association, Peter Simelane also expressed his gratitude to MTN for continuing to invest in football. “It is our duty as a football family to protect this investment and steer it towards the development of football. We also thank the Ministry of Sports and Culture for the guidance that it has given us during the height of the Covid 19 Pandemic. We cherish the investment that MTN has made towards football and we extend our best wishes to the MTN 2021/2022 league.”
The Minister of Sports, Youth, and Culture, Harries Bulunga spoke on behalf of His Majesty’s government and expressed his gratitude for being at the launch. Bulunga said “the launch of the MTN PLE 2021/2022 season happens at a time when we are recovering from the onslaught of the Covid 19 Pandemic when such sponsorship was no longer guaranteed. This is a significant sponsorship and a mark of MTN’s commitment to football. We view this investment as one not only to football but to all Emaswati.”
Bulunga condemned the sporadic violence that has been witnessed on the fields of play in recent times. He encouraged all the stakeholders to deliver a football season that we will be remembered and to produce their game.
“As we move towards the National Dialogue as announced by His Majesty we must take into cognizance that sport plays an important role in unifying people. I encourage all fans and officials to take the Covid vaccination campaign seriously and to vaccinate. The return of fans to the stadia is a realization by the government of the role that soccer plays in national development. I thereby officially declare the 2021/2022 season open.”