By Dennis Mabuka
Kenya FA President Sam Nyamweya has hinted that Castle Lager could replace East African Breweries Limited (EABL) as title sponsors of national team Harambee Stars.
Despite having a signed contract with Tusker which ends at the end of 2013, Nyamweya says that South African Breweries (SAB) Miller have shown great willingness to inject more money to the Kenya team.
Speaking at a function to launch the 2013 Cosafa Cup tournament to be held in Zambia starting July, Nyamweya said, “We have attended this function because our team has been invited to take part in this prestigious competition and I want to urge Tusker not to panic.
“However, our good relationship with Castle Lager could not end after this tournament because we are currently holding negotiations on several issues in terms of Kenyan football and fans should brace up for a big announcement come next year.
“We want to build Kenyan football and we will appreciate if cooperates could come on board and support the initiative. Our doors are wide open to cooperate and Castle have already shown their willingness by approaching the federation for sponsorship talks.”
Tusker have been sponsoring Harambee Stars for the last three years having signed a contract worth Sh110 million. The brewers’ contract with the team ends this year.
Speaking after Nyamweya, David Minja, the Worthmore Category Marketing Manager, Africa SAB Miller, could not deny nor confirm whether a deal has been struck between them and Kenya FA in regards to Harambee Stars’ only saying, “We are negotiating on many issues and the national team is one of them.
“We want to help in building this sport in the country and from the look of things…a major announcement could be rolled out earlier next year.”
Among the teams expected to take part in the Southern Africa football spectacle is defending champions Zimbabwe who will be joined by hosts Zambia, 3-time champions South Africa and Angola, as well as Mozambique and Malawi, all of whom have been given byes to the quarter-finals.
Kenya will start their campaign in the group stages where they have been pooled in Group ‘B’ alongside Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Group A features Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Mauritius and Seychelles.