ROBINSON KUNDA, Lusaka
MINISTER of Youth, Sport and Child Development Vincent Mwale has implored the private sector to partner with Government in developing sport.
Mwale said with concerted effort, sport could improve.
The minister was speaking during the 2015 MTN/Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) awards gala at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka on Thursday night.
Mwale hailed MTN for its investment in Zambian football and urged other corporate organisations to follow suit.
â€œI am, therefore, happy that MTN came on board to complement and implement government policies through sponsorship of football.
â€œWe are aware that Zambia is developing; therefore, the demand on the treasury for various development projects is high against limited resources,â€ he said.
Mwale said there is need to expose Zambian players if the countryâ€™s performance at the international level is to improve.
And MTN Zambia chief executive officer Charles Molapisi said his company is a strong believer in investing in youth not only in Zambia but also the region and the world at large.
â€œWe are proud to say that as a leading telecommunications provider, we understand Zambiaâ€™s number one passion, which is soccer.
â€œWherever you find an open field, the game of football is being played by Zambians of all ages,â€ Molapisi said.
He said MTN Zambia is encouraged by the growing competitiveness of the Super Division.
â€œWhile tonightâ€™s event celebrates the achievement of the 2015 MTN/FAZ Super League, it also sets the tone for the upcoming 2016 soccer season.
â€œWe are therefore confident tonightâ€™s awards will inspire greater achievements from seasoned as well as upcoming players,â€ Molapisi said.
FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya said 2015 has shown that Zambian football is on the rise.
â€œWe were thrilled, entertained and intrigued throughout the 30 weeks of this season.
â€œIn this regard, I want to pay glowing tribute to all the teams that participated in the 2015 soccer season.
â€œThe association is elated to see the indelible progress being made in Zambian football thanks to our partnership with MTN,â€ Kalusha said.
He also said Supersport have committed themselves to increasing coverage of the MTN/FAZ Super Division to unprecedented levels in Africa.
â€œStarting next year the league will have 18 teams and with the dawn of professionalisation through club licensing things can only get better,â€ Kalusha said.
ROBINSON KUNDA, Lusaka