Econet waits for  official confirmation

Econet waits for official confirmation

MASERU-Econet Telecom Lesotho, the main sponsor of the Premier League, says it is yet to decide if it will pay out the full prize-money for this season.
The Econet Premiership season has been on hold since March because of the Covid-19 pandemic and there is no resolution as to whether the campaign will continue or be shelved.

Econet says it is aware of last week’s recommendation made by the Premier League Management Committee’s (PLMC) and its 14 clubs to end the season.
The telecommunications company says it is waiting on official word from the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) on the season’s outcome.

Econet says if LEFA’s National Executive Committee (NEC) decides to end the league campaign it will then wait on LEFA’s proposal to see how its financial commitments as sponsors have been impacted.

Last week Premier League clubs decided to finish the season and let the current log standings remain as they are.

If LEFA’s NEC gives the final word to indeed end the league season as it stands, it would mean the 2019/20 campaign is considered to have been played to a finish.

However, if the campaign is cancelled, it would mean the season was not played which adds another layer of complexity.
LEFA is unhappy with the PLMC which through its spokesperson Moeketsi Ramakatsa went public last week and announced the league season had ended.

LEFA says only its NEC has the power to make definitive decisions about the current league season and an announcement will only be made when the NEC has come to a resolution.

LEFA said it is listening to recommendations from the PLMC. However, any backtracking on the part of the clubs seems unlikely as they have already sent players away for the offseason break.
Econet’s public relations officer Puleng Litabe said the company will wait to see how the situation plays out.

“We don’t have (any) official word about the season ending but we are aware there are talks between them (PLMC and LEFA),” Litabe said.
“If they decide to end (the season) they will have to bring a proposal to us so that we can see what our financial obligations are.”

Back in March when the coronavirus pandemic hit the continent, the government ordered a national lockdown and stopped all sporting events taking place, even though Lesotho had no case at the time.
LEFA duly suspended the current Econet Premier League season and it has been three months since football was last played.

Econet took over the league’s sponsorship two years ago and signed a three-year contract worth M6 million which is the biggest sponsorship deal in local sports to date.

Every season, the telecommunications giants spends a whopping M2 million on Lesotho’s top-flight league.
Negotiations over a contract renewal had already begun before the lockdown in March because Econet’s deal ends at the conclusion of the 2020/21 league season.

However, there are still no indications as to whether Econet will renew its sponsorship or not.

Tlalane Phahla

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