By Chibueze Ogwurumba & Princess Chukwuemeka.
The fourth poorest country in the world Chad, a landlocked and poverty-stricken country in north Central Africa has decided to sponsor French club, FC Metz, a Ligue 1 team based in the French region of Lorraine.
The decision was made by the authorities in the hope of attracting more tourists to the country and to improve its image in the world.
The kits of the newly-promoted French outfit now feature the slogan “Tchad: Oasis du Sahel”, meaning Chad: Oasis of the Sahel.
However, the sponsorship has been criticised by many in both France and Chad, with claims that it is a waste of money.
Many critics considered that Chad as the fourth poorest country in the world is faced with numerous challenges rocking the nation that are in need of urgent attention other than football.
According to the UN, Chad is currently home to over 280,000 refugees from the Sudan’s Darfur region and over 55,000 from the Central African Republic.
Islamic terror group Boko Haram regularly crosses the Chadian border from its base in neighbouring Nigeria.
However the Chadian Minister of Sports Betel Miarom said the sponsorship would help the country erase its negative image, according to a report in French sports paper L’Equipe.
Miarom hopes the sponsorship deal will go well beyond football and will intensify the economic ties between Chad and its former colonial masters, France.