Globacom Limited, Nigeria â€™s biggest corporate supporter of football, on Friday in Abuja presented a cheque for $3m (about N495M) for the Official National Supporters rights to the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The telecommunications giant also pledged to give the national U-17 team, the Golden Eagles, a cash prize of N50 million if they successfully defend the cup.
The cheque presentation which took place at the Abuja Transcorp-Hilton marked the formalisation of the partnership between Globacom and the world football ruling body for the sponsorship of the FIFA U-17 World Cup taking place in Nigeria later in the year. FIFA Vice-President, Chief Jack Warner also presented a copy of the sponsorship contract to Globacomâ€™s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mohamed Jameel.
In a brief speech before the cheque presentation, Jameel described Globacomâ€™s sponsorship of the World Cup as another milestone in the companyâ€™s long-standing relationship with football as a prime supporter. He traced the process of the bid and negotiation for the rights and commended FIFA for the transparency exhibited in evaluating the bids.
â€œOver a year ago, Globacom, through the Local Organising Committee, formally expressed interest to support Nigeria to host a memorable and world class World Cup that will make Africa proud. That process initiated by the expression of interest is what has crystallised into todayâ€™s event. Globacom is therefore delighted to present this cheque for $3m to FIFA, being the rights fee for Official National Supporter and Telecommunications providerâ€, Jameel stated.
Continuing, the Globacom official said, â€œa cash prize of N50M awaits the U-17 National team of Nigeria , the Golden Eaglets, if they successfully defend the cup Nigeria won two years ago in South Korea . This is our further contribution to football in Nigeria and to our partners, the Nigeria Football Federationâ€.
Globacom, he said, will partner with the LOC to ensure that the players, officials, media and fans who come to Nigeria for the FIFA World Cup will enjoy positive experiences associated with the countryâ€™s traditional and warm hospitality. â€œWe will partner with the LOC and the government of Nigeria to ensure that the traditional and warm hospitality this country is known for forms part of the experience of Nigeria â€™09 for all participantsâ€, Jameel promised.
In receiving the cheque, the FIFA Vice-president said Globacomâ€™s sponsorship of football in Nigeria was commendable as it motivates development from the grassroots.