There was a bittersweet reaction to the return of the FA Cup, as Orange Botswana and the Botswana Football Association (BFA) announced a three-year, P12.6million deal which will see the return of the knockout competition after a six-year absence
The deal is worth P4.2 million per season and the tournament would be known as the Orange FA Cup.
While there was relief across, there has been disappointment over the prize money, as winners take home P700,000, which is less than what both the league and Top 8 competition offers.
Speaking at the sponsorship launch, Orange Botswana chief executive officer, Patrick Benon said the company is committed to helping football grow in the country. He said in addition to the P12.6 million, a total of P15 million will be used for marketing purposes, which will see the deal rise to P27 million.
"This is in line with other sporting activities that we are part of, that includes the Orange Kabelano Charity Cup, the Zebras sponsorship and Orange Phikwe Marathon. Through these sponsorships, we have realised the importance of sports partnership. More than 30 local teams will be participating and this will give amateur teams an opportunity to go against teams in the higher level," Benon said.
He noted that, "Football is not just a sport, it is a vehicle that unites nations. It is a common language that is spoken across the world. We at Orange, we will help to make sure that the sport in Botswana is at a level to compete with other countries, even from outside Africa”.
For his part the BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti said it was imperative to create a conducive environment in football that will entice potential sponsors to invest in the game. He said the Orange sponsorship gives an opportunity to every player around the country
"We want to give the game of football accountability and good governance. Sponsorship is difficult to come in any sporting code in Botswana. Worldwide, football sells elite companies. So we should nurture the orange sponsorship and from their point of view, we should give back through brand exposure and financial returns."
He said the FA cup “brings massive dreams to the young players in Botswana. It is huge it gives hope to the players of playing football at the highest level. Orange is contributing to football development through this sponsorship. Players can rise to stardom through this competition, it is not about sponsorship only it’s about human development. When diamonds and everything else is gone we will have the youth who are the future. This not about football but development of the country”.
The FA Cup will be begin at the start of 2019 with 48 teams vying for the P700, 000 prize money. The eight teams from the regional leagues who qualified for the play offs will face the top eight teams from both the north and south first division leagues. The 16 elite teams will join the competition at the last 32 stage.
Prize Money Breakdown
Semi finalists: P150,000
Quarter finalists: P 60,000
Last 16: P25,000
Second Round: P10,000
First Round: P5,000
Player of the tournament: P40,000
Top Goal scorer: P25,000
Goalkeeper of the tournament: P25,000
Coach of the tournament: P10,000
Referee of the tournament: P10,000
Ass. Referee of the tournament: P10,000
Supporters Player of the tournament: P10,000