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BYC II gets corporate support for Azam FC match

By Richard Manuba

(mylbsonline/Liberia)-One of Liberia’s enterprising football teams, BYC II, has received a major boost to their CAF Cup match this Sunday against Azam FC of Tanzania.

Two multi-national corporate entities, Lonestar cell-MTN and the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), have expressed their respective interests to sponsor BYC II football club as the team prepares for their pending game.

The two companies announced their sponsorship interests Thursday 15th March, 2013 at the 2nd in the series of the club’s media lunch in Monrovia.

NOCAL and the telecom giant, Lonestar cell-MTN, have provided US$100,000.00 and US$45,000.00, respectively, to help defray costs associated with BYC II hosting the Tanzanian counterpart and the team’s traveling to Dar es Salam for the return leg.

Making remarks at the media interaction and introducing the two new sponsors, BYC II Chief Executive Officer, Robert Sirleaf, rallied the nation’s support to turn out in mass with their sasas, drums and string instruments to cheer the team to total victory.

The match is scheduled for Sunday 17th March, 2013 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia.                

Mr. Sirleaf was full of commendations for the Liberian sporting media for, in his words, “Raising the momentum for the team’s CAF matches, beginning with the first round with Sierra Leone’s FC Johansen, which they eliminated on a 1-0 aggregate.”

He said: “You guys, some from the print, some from radio, really promoted BYC II in the last two matches and I just want to say thanks to you all.”

Meanwhile, FIBank has joined NOCAL and Lone star-cell MTN in firmly assuring BYC II of getting the needed funding to remain in contention at the CAF Confederation Cup level.

NOCAL said: “We are committing US$100,000.00, while Lonestar cell-MTN has bankrolled US$45,000.00.”

“My company prefers holding close to its chest, the package it is providing BYC II in the CAF engagement,” the FIBank executive at the media luncheon, Ambullai Mameh, said.

NOCAL was represented by its Public Relations Executive, Israel Akinsanya, while Dr. Laurence Bropleh, spoke for Lonestar celll-MTN.

Dr. Bropleh is a Liberian Government former Minister of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT). Sunday’s match will be the first time a Liberian club will lock horns with a Tanzanian counterpart.

Azam FC arrived in Liberia early Thursday morning and they have been carrying out their technical workouts at BYC’s mini stadium in central Monrovia. Kick-off time is 4:00 GMT local time.

Coach Robert ‘Pelar’ Lartey of the home-side has told state radio (ELBC) there are minor injury concerns in his squad. Notwithstanding, Coach Lartey praised the team’s doctors for working counterclockwise to remedy the situation.

“The nation can be assured that victory is certain on Sunday. We will win Azam and bring joy to the Liberian people, though he admitted not knowing much about their opponents,” Pelar said.

“Though rigorous, my reliance is in my training sessions.”

Azam FC saw off South Sudan’s El Nassir 8-1 on aggregate to set up their meeting with the Liberian team, despite having edge over BYC II in terms of owning a huge stadium and enjoying the franchise of a wealthy Tanzanian as their CEO.

The Liberian team, too, is owned by the son of Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Robert Sirleaf. It now runs a well-structured program that has since professionalized the football career of its youth players and is leaving no stone unturned.

They are up for upsetting the East Africans, despite being a 2nd division club, while Azam plays in Tanzania’s top flight [premier league.


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