Deal will add more kick to Ajax

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The arrival of cellphone company MTN at Ikamva will enable Premiership title chasers Ajax Cape Town to compete equally for quality players in the transfer market.

This is according to John Comitis, the Urban Warriors' chairman, after signing a partnership with the giant South African mobile phone company on Friday.

The new marriage comes hardly a month after the phone company and reigning league championships Mamelodi Sundowns announced their divorce after three years.

Ajax are the third club currently sponsored by the phone company. The others are Lamontville Golden Arrows and Black Leopards.

Though the figures were not announced at the launch attended by various soccer personalities, Ajax's deal is believed to be worth about R60 million.

Comitis described the financial injection as long overdue, saying Ajax have been the most consistent team this season.

"We believe that with this partnership in place, we will certainly be able to compete in the transfer market-place and secure even greater soccer action for our fans," he said.

"This partnership shows to us that our efforts over the past four years have not gone unnoticed. We continued to do the correct things for football, the development of our youth and indirectly for the future of South African football.

"There is no doubt in my mind that, having achieved numerous successes in our short history, this kind of cash injection will assist us to improve what we do on the soccer field and in other areas of this great sport."

Part of the money will be used to build the club's own high-performance centre and improve their academy.

Pieter Verkade, chief marketing officer of MTN SA, said: "The Western Cape region is one of MTN's key business focus areas."

The phone company is an official partner of the 2010 World Cup. They also sponsor the Africa Cup of Nations, African Champions League and Confederations League.

They fund football leagues in countries like Swaziland, Cameroon, Tanzania, Ghana and Uganda.