Nations Cup: South Africa's LOC may dump FNB Stadium


South Africa’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the forthcoming 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), has warned that it could ditch the FNB Stadium over an unresolved naming rights issue.

Sipho Sithole, the LOC Chief Communications Officer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the committee might have to adopt its plan B as a way out of the impasse.

“The LOC is not part of the discussion on the ongoing dispute between FNB and owners of the stadium, but we have a plan B in case both parties are unable to arrive at an amicable settlement to the problem on time.

“The plan B could be that matches slated for the stadium may be moved to another stadium,” Sithole said.

He said the dispute was affecting the printing of tickets for the opening and the final matches.

“Though the dispute does not affect the sale of tickets for the opening and final matches, we cannot print official tickets for the two matches due the ongoing dispute.

“What we have now are temporary tickets for the two matches,” Sithole said.

There has been a dispute between the Department of Public Works and First National Bank (FNB) on the naming rights of the stadium.

Related News

The dispute may infringe on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rule, which does not allow the branding of a stadium for continental tournament.

The stadium had its name changed during the 2010 World Cup, due to FIFA’s rule on branding any of the stadium to be used for the tournament, but FNB has refused to cede its naming rights to the stadium for the AFCON.

The Department of Public Works, which owns the stadium, has leased it to the City of Johannesburg, which has a subsisting branding agreement with FNB from 2007 to 2014.

In its bid to make some concession, the FNB has demanded for an extension till 2016, to accommodate the change in the name of the stadium, during the 2013 AFCON tournament.

Meanwhile, the LOC has blamed the inability of the government to release funds, for the lack of adequate publicity and marketing for the tournament.

Sithole said the committee’s visual marketing campaign, “which involves us putting up billboards all over the country, has been stalled due to non-release of funds’’.

“We were meant to have television and radio adverts, but we couldn’t do all that because we didn’t receive the money from government.”

The tournament is scheduled to take place in five centres across the country, between 19 January and 10 February.

Load more