Economy

MTN, State House In Potential Clash Over Buffaloes, Eagles Match

MTN has filed an appeal against the directive by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission that compelled FAZ to allow City of Lusaka continue using Woodlands Stadium but the process throws one of the season ending deciding fixtures which President Edgar Lungu is expected to watch on Saturday into jeopardy.

According to ex-parte summons date stamped November 13, 2017 before the Tribunal responsible for Competition and Consumer Protection, MTN demands that the court quashes the CCPC directive granting City of Lusaka interim relief to access Woodlands Stadium until the appeal is disposed.

MTN contend that the continued use of Woodlands Stadium by City of Lusaka, a club sponsored by a rival company Vodafone, violates the its rights based on the sponsorship agreement it enjoys with FAZ.

President Lungu is expected to watch the FAZ Super Division concluding double header at Woodlands stadium on Saturday. The matches involve title contenders Green Buffaloes and Green Eagles while City of Lusaka hosts Red Arrows.

The highly anticipated match between Buffaloes and Eagles is one of the four crucial fixtures set to decide the 2017 FAZ Super Division championship.

However, a decision by the court will throw plans for the big clash on Saturday into chaos and potentially ridicule the Office of the President.

MTN submits that CPCC issued the directive to FAZ without giving the firm an opportunity to be heard, a position they claim abrogates section 62 of the CPCC Act No. 24 of 2010.

“… while the appellant [MTN] was given an opportunity to be heard on the Notice, the Respondent [CPCC] did not give the appellant [MTN] an opportunity to make representations regarding the interim measure or directive,” Bumi Kalala, the MTN corporate legal affairs assistant, argues.

MTN contends that the company, in its agreement with FAZ, enjoys exclusive rights to both the league and national team match advertising as it is the main sponsor.

The company argues it has the following rights;

“(a) Stadium branding rights which allow it to place its intellectual property on a specific number of advertising boards with specified dimensions at all Super League matches;

“(b) Exclusive branding rights with respect to the stadium where Super League matches are due to be played which rights are subject to prior approval of the stadium owner;

“(c) The first right of negotiation with other Super League football clubs with regards to the purchasing of additional advertising space at the club’s stadia; and

“(d) The right not to have any presence of its competitors within the stadium and for a radius of 200m around the stadium during Zambia National Soccer Team games.”

According to the MTN legal team, the agreement with FAZ allows for other forms of advertisement in the stadia where Super League matches were concerned, but not national team matches.

In a direct challenge to Vodafone who after pumping money into City of Lusaka have assumed the naming rights for Woodlands stadium, MTN aver that, “…any competitor of the Appellant [MTN] is free to offer FAZ a better sponsorship deal which becomes contractual when consummated.”

As for now, MTN demand their exclusive rights because they pay FAZ for the sponsorship and that it is the common practice to enjoy the “fruit of their labor”.

MTN argue that based on the circumstances of the case, the CPCC directive compelling FAZ to allow City of Lusaka use Woodlands Stadium with its sponsor Vodafone enjoying acres of space for advertising was illegal.

“It is desirable and in the interest of justice that the decision of the Respondent [CPCC] be quashed pending appeal to the Tribunal because the Appellant’s [MTN] rights under the Agreement will be violated and rendered nugatory,” Kalala submits.

If the tribunal grants the ex-parte summons before the first hearing of the appeal on December 6, City will lose the right to use Woodlands stadium and must make last minute arrangements to fulfill the next fixture due in 72 hours.

Buffaloes, Zesco United, Zanaco and Nkana all have the chance to be crowned champions depending on the result of the weekend fixtures.

MTN/FAZ FIXTURES FOR SUPER DIVISION WEEK 38 TO BE PLAYED ON SATURDAY 2ND DECEMBER, 2017
15:00 Lusaka Dynamos Vs NAPSA Stars
(National Heroes Stadium)
15:00 Nchanga Rangers Vs Nakambala Leopards
(Nchanga Stadium)
15:00 Kabwe Warriors Vs Power Dynamos
(Godfrey Chitalu Stadium)
15:00 Nkana Vs Konkola Blades
(Nkana Stadium-Live on SuperSport)
13:00 Real Nakonde Vs Nkwazi
(New Stadium) Nakonde
15:00 Zesco United Vs Mufulira Wanderers
(Levy Mwanawasa Stadium-Live on SuperSport)
15:00 Lumwana Radiants Vs Buildcon
(Lumwana Stadium)
15:00 Zanaco Vs Forest Rangers
(Sunset Stadium-Live on SuperSport)
13:00 City of Lusaka Vs Red Arrows
(Woodlands Stadium)
15:00 Green Buffaloes Vs Green Eagles
(Woodlands Stadium)

 

6 Comments

  1. Real man

    Let MTN enjoy it’s rights

  2. nineo

    I know am not a lawyer but looking at the clauses quoted above from the agreement with FAZ, a,b, and c which relate to Super League do not stop City from using its stadium. Unless according to clause b, City is not the owner or they are, they gave prior approval for exclusive rights to MTN, then again there is no reason why Vodafone who are the sponsors of City can be stopped from having an appearance there. I beg to be corrected!

  3. SHU SHU SHU

    This is a b.u.l.l.s.h.i.t claim by MTN. Do they want to sponsor City of Lusaka? Do they think that they should monopolise the FAZ super division?

  4. Chizo

    This is total crap, just look at the English premier league also called the Barclacy premier which is officially sponsored by the later but teams like Liverpool still get sponsorship from standard chartered. They could be right in some way so the blame goes to the lawyer drafting the document cause like this it only stands to benefit MTN.

  5. Daniels

    We live in a competitive market driven economies. Mtn just up your game, you can’t avoid competition.

  6. Mpelo saulo

    To hell with monopolistic market, lets move with time. We live in a competitive market. Vodafone stadium here we Come to enjoy our games tomorrow whether MTN likes it or not and to make this whole episode interesting, his excellence Will be in attendance.

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