During the second half of 2016, our Zonal Union was really engaged in discussions with potential sponsors since resource mobilisation was the main stumbling block in the organisation of our regional programs / activities.
Eventually, after series of meetings in Dakar, Senegal and Abidjan, Ivory Coast, agreement was reached in principle with the FOX Networks Group (FNG) for a multi-year Partnership that will help develop football in both West Zones A and B. This multi-million-dollar sponsorship package will enable each Zonal Union to host and organise a bi-annual Challenge Cup for Senior National teams with effect from 2017. This package will also provide our Zonal Unions with the opportunity to organise other competitions for all categories – U-17, U-20, U-23 and Senior National teams (local players only) in every quarter of the year. Furthermore, seminars and workshops in coaching, administration, refereeing, sports medicine etc. will also be organised as programmed in the Zonal Union work plan every other quarter. FNG will broadcast all tournaments / activities via their TV networks all over the world.
After finalising the requisite documentations for this Partnership, all Presidents of sixteen (16) Member Associations were invited to the signing ceremony which took place in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dakar, Senegal. Before the main event, the whole package was explained to all the Presidents after which they all signed an agreement giving the Presidents of Zone A and B the right to sign the Partnership Agreement with FNG. Later that evening, precisely 18:00 hrs, Presidents Augustin Senghor and Kwesi Nyantakyi signed the official Agreement in the presence of the Presidents and journalists. Frank Rutten and Adam Theiler signed on behalf of Fox Networks Group (FNG)
Frank Rutten, EVP, FOX Sports, Europe and Africa said, “We have a proven track record of creating and delivering premium sports programming for local audiences that have the potential to travel to a global audience. Football is the most popular sport in Africa, and through our new 12-year partnership, not only are we investing in all areas of the industry, we are ensuring the broadcast of more games from the Zone West Cup tournaments to the millions of fans in Africa, all in our signature FOX Sports quality.”
Adam Theiler, EVP, Fox Networks Group, Europe and Africa said, “West African footballers have not only helped to build one of the strongest football regions across the continent, they have also dazzled audiences on the world stage by competing in top tier leagues around the world. West Africa is a fountain of talent and football pride, and as an anchor of our Fox Networks Group portfolio, it is FOX Sports absolute intention to bring the talent of these men and women to football fans in Africa, and the world.”
Augustin Senghor, President WAFU Zone A said, “Today is a great day for both West Zone A and B nations and our fans. The support of FOX Sports, as a global leader in sports broadcasting, will help us further develop and promote our football. WAFU A and its Member Associations / Federations are delighted with this landmark partnership and look forward to creating the best events for the supporters.”
Kwesi Nyantakyi, President WAFU Zone B said, “The global FOX Sports network with their broadcast expertise is the perfect partner to support our ambitions in taking West African football to the next level. We are looking forward to working with the FOX Sports team to bring the excitement of our West Zone B football into homes across Africa.”
To celebrate this landmark Partnership, we will organise an Inter-club tournament comprising of the four League Champions 2016 from Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Senegal in March 2017. The First edition of our Challenge Cup will be hosted by Ghana in June / July 2017.