FAZ Division Three North side Afrisports has signed a historical US$400, 000 (about K2.2 million) partnership deal with Kitwe based gemstone firm Grizzly Mining.
The deal is open-ended and will see Grizzly Mining bankroll the famous developmental club for the foreseeable future.
Grizzly Mining general manager Catherine Sampa said at the official unveiling of the deal at Manzi Moyo Lodge in Kitwe yesterday that the deal is a firm commitment from the company of the faith it has in Afrisports’ potential to rebound after nine years in the lower leagues.
”As Grizzly Mining, we took charge of Afrisports as a way of contributing to the well-being of our youth in the country,” Sampa said.
”We took over the club when it was at its lowest level, that was in September 2012, and we have sponsoring the club ever since,” she added.
And Grizzly Mining finance and administrative manager Abdoul Ba said his company would like to see a fruitful return on their investment in the Ndeke Township club.
”The management of Grizzly Mining Ltd has responded to the request of the Afrisports FC and decided to provide financial assistant in amount of over K2.2 million,” Ba said.
Ba said the money will be used for player and coaches’ salaries, logistical support and ground maintenance.
“Since we took over one and a half years ago we are very pleased top observe the successful rising of the team because when we took charge the team that was on the verge of relegation,” Ba said.
Afrisports’ has produced current Chipolopolo players Stopilla Sunzu, Rainfdord Kalaba, Jacob Mulenga and Christopher Munthali including defender Aaron Katebe of Platinum FC in Zimbabwe.
The club was demoted from the FAZ Super Division in 2005 after just one season in the top flight before embarking on a downward spiral.
Afrisports Chief Executive Officer Gabriel Kaunda said the partnership with Grizzly Mining would see the clubs’ profile rise once again.
”With this intervention the team is poised to bounce back to top flight football and produce more quality players who will do both the
club and nation proud,” Kaunda said.