By ADRIAN MWANZA –
THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has banned the use of Woodlands Stadium for league matches over branding rights between league sponsors MTN and rivals Vodafone which the stadium is named after.
According to sources the ban came after MTN demanded that no league matches should be played at Woodlands Stadium as it was bearing the name of a rival company.
Vodafone is scheduled to unveil its sponsorship to City of Lusaka and commission the newly furbished Woodlands Stadium tomorrow which will change its name to Vodafone Woodlands Stadium.
The stadium was scheduled to host a double header with games involving City of Lusaka against Nkana and Green Buffaloes against Zesco United but the games have been moved to Nkoloma Stadium instead.
The source disclosed that the FAZ had written to City executive over the decision of banning all league games as a way of respecting the contract it had with MTN.
“The biggest issue was about branding rights because MTN made it clear that they had exclusive rights and that they would not compete with any other rival organisation in the case of Vodafone which offers
similar services,” he said.
The source said it was very unfortunate because the games were blockbusters and that it was going to be good if the Stadium was to be commissioned.
And efforts to get City executive for a comment proved futile as the chairman Justine Zulu’s line went unanswered.
FAZ recently hosted the national team at the Woodlands Stadium in a friendly match against Ethiopia.