No sponsor crisis: Khoza
Johannesburg - Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairperson Irvin Khoza said on Tuesday the new sponsorship deal for the MTN8 cup tournament had long been concluded, refuting claims that the league and its partner had been at loggerheads over a contract renewal.
"Making an announcement when there was still (last weekend's) Carling Black Label Cup would have diluted this cup," Khoza said.
"The renewal of this contract was a no-brainer."
The PSL and the telecommunications company signed a new three-year deal with an option of an additional two years.
The previous contract was also for three years with an additional one-year option.
The terms for the new deal were kept confidential by both parties.
The mobile network's marketing head, Serame Taukumong, also said a new deal had been reached two months ago.
The top eight competition, which opens the domestic season, begins on Friday.
"We were not worried (about the media reports) because this deal was finalised in June," Kaung said.
"The delay was more from a marketing perspective and getting a marketing gap than operations.
"We are looking forward to celebrating more milestones with the PSL."
The terms of the new contract would be revealed, according to Khoza, after the league's executive meeting in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
The PSL has yet to confirm contract renewals of all its other sponsorship partners for the new season.
Another issue on Wednesday's agenda will be the National First Division, with the issue of financing expected to be discussed.
Khoza, though, was adamant that all sponsors were on board and would be announced in due course.
"We are having a meeting tomorrow," he said.
"After that we will discuss all the issues."
Pirates, the two-time successive MTN8 winners, open the tournament against Bloemfontein Celtic in Soweto on Friday evening.
The crunch fixture is between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus on Sunday.
MTN8 fixtures: Orlando Pirates vs Bloemfontein Celtic Orlando Stadium, August 3.
SuperSport United v Free State Stars, Peter Mokaba Stadium, August 4.
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Kaizer Chiefs, Loftus Versfeld, August 5.
Moroka Swallows v AmaZulu, Dobsonville Stadium, August 5.