SPONSORS of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) opener, The NetOne Charity Shield — NetOne — are negotiating with the football governing body to have the event involve top eight teams, Standardsport can reveal.
By Brian Nkiwane
NetOne, who came in to sponsor the event three years ago, signed a three-year deal with PSL which expired last year. The two parties were yet to agree on another deal but have started negotiations to make the event bigger and better.
If the deal sails through, the two parties will sign yet another three-year deal which will spell an end to the Charity Shield season opener and to open a new page on yet another top eight Cup tournament.
Sources within the mobile network provider said negotiations were at an advance stage and they were just waiting for PSL elections to come and go so that they conclude negotiations.
“I can tell you that negotiations are at an advanced stage now. If the deal sails through, it will bring an end to the season opener but the two parties will then come up with an eight-team tournament,” said the source.
“NetOne is willing to spent more in football this year, so bigger things are yet to come.”
Contacted for comment, PSL boss Twine Phiri acknowledged that something big was coming but was not willing to divulge the contents of the deal at this stage.
“Yes there is something big coming from NetOne but I cannot pre-empt the deal. Remember we have to be careful when dealing with sponsors otherwise we might end up jeopardising negotiations,” Phiri said.
Initially, the season opener was pencilled for March 1 and 2, but the two dates have now been set aside for the second edition of the Cephas Msipa Fundraising Tournament, bringing uncertainty over its availability.
Last month, the mobile network provider launched a women football tournament sponsorship to the tune of US$75 000.
The tournament, which is now at semifinals stage, has since been shelved to pave way for the Mighty Warriors assignment in Botswana.