Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
PREMIER Soccer League returnees Bulawayo City FC will be forced to abandon their Ingwebu branded kit as it offends the sponsorship agreement the PSL has with Delta Beverages.
Delta Beverages sponsors the PSL through its Castle Lager brand and also brews opaque beer Chibuku, which is a rival of Ingwebu beer made by Bulawayo Municipal Commercial Undertaking (BMCU) beverages manufacturing unit, Ingwebu Breweries. BMCU is wholly owned by the Bulawayo City Council.
According to the sponsorship agreement with the PSL, Delta Beverages has exclusive rights to the league and no rival company can come on board.
A Facebook post by Bulawayo City councillor Tawanda Ruzive triggered a fierce debate on social media that eventually sucked in PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele, who declared that Bulawayo City FC may receive financial backing, but will not be allowed to use an Ingwebu branded kit.
“Bulawayo City Football Club back in the Premiership and main sponsor is Ingwebu Breweries. Hope no qualms with PSL sponsor,” read Ruzive’s post.
Ndebele poured cold water on Ruzive’s post.
“The club may receive the money, but sponsor branding and kits at match venues will not be permitted,” wrote Ndebele.
He further stated in another post later that what he said was in the Delta Beverages sponsorship contract of the PSL.
It could not be immediately established yesterday if City, winners of the Zifa Southern Region Division One League, will abide by the PSL’s position not to wear Ingwebu Breweries branded kit next year, although a source in the municipal side hinted at a possible legal battle.
“We are a law-abiding organisation, but if our sponsors are denied mileage then surely such laws can’t go unchallenged. This is why we have competent courts in the country.
“However, as a club we haven’t been officially told anything by the PSL so we await such communication,” said the source.