Digicel announces sponsorship of Timor-Leste football federation
Friday, 04 December 2009
Digicel, the fastest growing mobile operator in the Pacific, was today unveiled as the first ever sponsor of the Timor-Leste Football Federation.
Digicel Group Chairman, Denis O'Brien, and President of the Timor-Leste Football Federation Francisco Lay, signed the four-year sponsorship deal in the new FIFA House at Democracy Park, in Dili today.
The deal will see Digicel, the biggest sponsor of football in the Caribbean and in Central America, join forces with the Timor-Leste Football Federation to support the development of football from the grassroots level right up to the national team.
Digicel has been involved in a wide range of football initiatives designed to support the development of football in the Caribbean and Central America over the last five years.
Digicel, which has operations in 32 countries worldwide, sponsors 15 Football Federations and Leagues, as well as the Digicel Caribbean Championships and the Copa de Naciones Digicel in Central America.
Digicel also developed the Digicel Kick Start Clinics in the Caribbean, which offer young footballers the opportunity to train with renowned footballers such as Liverpool legends, John Barnes and Ian Rush, as well as spending one week with UK Premier League Clubs, Sunderland AFC and Manchester City.
Speaking at today's press conference, Francisco Lay, said: "Digicel's unprecedented agreement with the Football Federation is the first of its kind in Timor-Leste and a significant moment in the development of football for the country.
The FFTL is proud to be supported by such a prominent sponsor of football, and we look forward to reaping the benefits of Digicel's knowledge, experience and relationships from across their various football properties worldwide," he said.
Digicel Group Chairman, Denis O'Brien said, "Digicel is proud to become the first sponsor of Timor-Leste football. Football is certainly the most popular sport in Timor-Leste, and has a tremendous potential to contribute in building national unity and pride amongst its young people.
With Digicel's strong support, financial backing and expertise, the Timor-Leste national side can now aspire to a prominent position on the international stage sooner than ever."
"Football will unite the entire nation in Timor-Leste, as it continues to do in so many other famous footballing nations around the world, like Brazil, Italy, Portugal and Honduras, to name but a few.
Working with Francisco and his colleagues at the Football Federation, Digicel will help make this happen," he said.
In a special message conveyed to the Federation to mark today's event, FIFA Vice-President, Jack Warner, said: "Over the last five years, Digicel has become the major supporter of football in the Caribbean and Central America. As well as sponsoring football Federations and Leagues across the region, Digicel has been instrumental in developing football clinics for aspiring young footballers with renowned international coaches.
"I am delighted that Digicel is now extending its support of the development of football into Timor-Leste.
"It is so important that countries such as Timor-Leste receive this support so that they can develop their footballers from the grassroots level right through to the National team.
"I would like to wish everyone the best of luck and I look forward to seeing some great talent emerge out of Timor-Leste in the future," he said.
Digicel was announced as the lead commercial sponsor of the Tour de Timor cycling event, which took place in August earlier this year.
The Tour de Timor was the principal sporting event of the historic 10th Anniversary of the Popular Consultation celebrations held in August 2009. Digicel's sponsorship of the event helped to ensure the Tour de Timor was placed firmly on the international stage and the race was covered by an overwhelming media presence from the all over the Pacific rim, Asia and Europe.
The Digicel team was made up of four Timorese cyclists who made their country proud by coming in top position among the Timorese contingent.
ETAN looks forward to your support. Go to http://etan.org/etan/donate.htm to donate. Thank you.
John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
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