Vodafone, the number one next generation 4G operator in Zambia, has expressed its disappointment in the Football Association of Zambia’s (FAZ) decision to move the game between City of Lusaka F.C. and Nkana Warriors away from the Vodafone Stadium, City Ya Moto’s home ground. Vodafone has subsequently apologized to all fans of the team looking to watch the game in the newly refurbished stadium.
On August 27, The City of Lusaka was scheduled to host Copperbelt outfit, Nkana Warriors in a match that was expected to coincide with the official unveiling of the Vodafone Stadium, formerly known as Woodlands Stadium.
The Football Association however moved the game to Nkoloma Stadium in Chelstone following a misunderstanding between City of Lusaka sponsors, premier league sponsors, and the F.A.
Vodafone Zambia CEO noted that while he respected the decision by the Football Association, and emphasized the need to adhere to their ruling, he pointed out that he was disappointed at the outcome of events, as it had the potential to severely affect the morale of clubs looking to partner with corporate sponsors for the benefit of the game.
Mr. Stork further stated that he has been and is still fully committed to participate in a negotiation with all parties concerned and confident that a solution will be possible, allowing the City of Lusaka FC to play the balance of their home games at the refurbished Vodafone Stadium.
“My philosophy is quite simple, competition is the critical driver of performance and innovation. It benefits consumers by enabling more choice from an array of quality products and services. Healthy competition also encourages our businesses to continuously improve the quality of services leading to a healthy growth of the total market. A pre-requisite for this to flourish however, is that organizations such as the FAZ and any other relevant stakeholders for that matter provide a level playing field for Zambian businesses to participate in the game that unites us all.”
Mr. Stork went on to emphasize Vodafone’s commitment to the City of Lusaka Football Club.
“We are genuinely committed to the growth of Zambian football. It is exciting to see more corporates invest in the sport that unites us all. This is more than a marketing exercise for us, it goes to the very core of our business – ensuring we make a meaningful impact in the communities in which we operate. Therefore, despite the decision, we will continue to support the City of Lusaka and reaffirm our commitment to them as their official sponsor,” said Mr. Stork.
On Wednesday August 23rd, The City of Lusaka Football Club (F.C) announced Vodafone Zambia as their official sponsor in an agreement that gives the next generation operator the sole naming rights of the team’s home stadium, Woodlands.