After six years of sponsoring the Cosafa under 20 youth championship, Metropolitan Bank has announced its withdrawal of sponsorship to the showpiece.
A statement from the bank which has been forwarded to Nyasa Times by the Cosafa head office says: “Metropolitan regrets to announce its withdrawal from the sponsorship of the Cosafa under 20 youth championship,effective end of March 2012.”
The news comes after a few days from the staging of what could be best described as a succesfull tournament in Botswana where the Malawi under 20 took part and finished fourth.
According to Metropolitan, this announcement has come up after a strategic review of all sponsorship properties by the company following the merger between Metropolitan and Momentum in December 2010 to create MMI holdings.
Metropolitan’s brand executive Belinda Faulkner says “the decision to withdraw was a difficult one as we have made a significant investment in the Cosafa youth championship. We are confident that we are leaving the tournament in good shape for a potential new sponsor”.
The company says research has shown that less than 6% of South Africans save and that there is an overwhelming need for financial education and the company will focus on that going forward.
It says through the tournament, Metropolitan has helped showcase the talents of thousands of youngsters across the continent including Thulani Serero and Knowledge Musona.
Reacting to the development,a member of the Malawi under 20 technical panel who was with the team in Botswana last week described the news as “shocking” and a “disaster” to the development of the game at grassroot level.
“Its hard to believe the news. Metropolitan has helped us a lot as Malawi in unearthing talent” he said.
He mentioned players like Dalitso Sailesi and Yamikani Chester as players who have been exposed by the just ended tournament in Botswana.
Metropolitan will still honour all existing obligations and activation support stipulated in the contract with Cosafa which runs for another 3 months.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :