Barely three weeks to the kick-off of the 2016 women’s African Cup of Nations, no official sponsor has been announced yet.
The stalemate, our sources say is due to some wrangling in the National organizing committee where the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Ismael Bidoug Mpkatt is strongly advocating for the tournament to be sponsored by a local enterprise.
The bids by telecom giants like MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroon were allegedly rejected due to the fact that despite their heavy presence in the country, they are foreign-owned. State telecom outfit, CAMTEL, which obviously found itself in pole position by default backed out in the last minutes.
With the apparent lack of interest from local companies to officially sponsor the event, the government would be left with no other option than to revert to giving the sponsorship deal to a foreign outfit.
In order related news, There is anxiety gripping the local organizing committee over the possibility that fan show-up during the upcoming female AFCON tournament may be lackluster. This has apparently tilted deliberations towards the possibility of slashing ticket prices to spur attendance.
There is even talk of free entry for certain matches that might not pull the required crowd. Images of an empty stadium will not paint a good picture for the organizing committee that has spent sleepless nights preparing to host a major tournament after several decades.
Also, the Prime Minister is expected to evaluate ongoing rehabilitation and extension works at the Buea Mountain Hotel, where he will be lodged, the Buea Town Green and Molyko Stadiums as well as the Limbe Centenary, Middle Farms and Omnisport Stadiums.The last time the PM did a similar exercise was on July 18, 2016 to mount pressure on the contractors so that the projects would be ready before the CAF inspection team that was announced for July 28 would arrive.
Geoffrey Elah, with files from the Sun Newspaper