FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) have announced that they will not get involved in the sponsorship of live broadcast of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).
The FQM announcement comes just a few days before the kick-off of the 2013 AFCON finals in South Africa and as ZNBC is on a crusade to raise K5 billion (KR5 million) to acquire rights to televise all the 32 matches live.
FQM resource optimisation manager, John Gladston said the mining firm had created enough impetus for many sponsors to come on board this year after there involvement with the 2012 AFCON championship.
Gladston said in a statement released in Lusaka that FQM last year staked K1.3 billion (KR1.3 million) which was about 65 per cent of the total budget required by ZNBC to televise all the AFCON matches.
"We created enough impetus for many sponsors to cone on board this year with our involment in 2012 where we staked K1.3 billion, about 65 percent of the total budget required by the national broadcaster to air all 32 matches," he said.
Last week, Zambian Breweries Plc and Zambeef came on board to partner with ZNBC in the telecast of the AFCON which kicks off on Saturday.
And FQM chief executive officer and chairperson, Philip Pascall has challenged the Chipolopolo to do everything possible to retain the AFCON title in South Africa.
Pascall said the team needed to remain focused, disciplined and the drive in their aspirations to defend the continental crown.
"They obviously have a big fight on their hands to retain the Africa Championship, and they have to do everything that they are capable to keep the continental trophy in Zambia. Again, the basics of focus, discipline, drive and a little bit of luck are ingredients the team has to rely on," Pascall said.
He said the team's resolve to win at the AFCON had been strengthened after a run of unimpressive results in the Chipolopolo's warm up matches.
The FQM chief executive said he optimistic that the Chipolopolo would impress again on the continental stage this year.
Zambia will open the AFCON campaign against Ethiopia on January 21 in Group C before taking on Nigeria four days later and wrap up the preliminary stage matches on January 29 against Burkina Faso.
FQM is one of the major supporters of sport in Zambia, investing overall K5 billion (KR5 million) with football receiving in excess of K3 billion (KR3 million).
Pascall added: "We will continue our long and fruitful association with development of sport in Zambia in line with our deep-seated practice of maximising benefits and opportunities for communities in which we operate."