THE Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has parted ways with Eden University who have ceased to be sponsors of the National Division One League with immediate effect.

Meanwhile the FAZ has confirmed that Livingstone Pirates will compete in the FAZ National Division One league following the withdrawal of Gomes FC prior to the start of the season.

In a statement issued to the media yesterday, FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala said the contract between the two entities was not renewed hence Eden University would no longer sponsor the division.

He urged clubs and other stakeholders not to use any Eden University material for marketing or publicity purposes at any given time as the league has returned to its initial status, the FAZ National Division One League.

“We would like to thank Eden University management and staff for the contribution made to our organisation and to the growth of National Division one football since 2019. We can only wish them nothing but success in their future endeavours,” said Kashala.

“We are looking forward to the next era of sponsorship for the National Division One League which has reached an advanced stage and the nation will be informed in due course.”

In November 2018, Eden University penned a historic K1.1 million National Division one sponsorship deal with FAZ, which was the first time the National Division One was having a headline sponsor.

In December 2020, the institution, upped it’s sponsorship package for the 2020/2021 football season from K1.1million to K1,840,000.

But in an interview, Eden University chief executive officer Kelvin Kaunda said the two parties agreed to separate mutually.

Kaunda explained that a meeting was held on Monday where various issues surrounding the sponsorship of the league were discussed.

“We have been sponsoring football, in this case the National Division One, for the last four years but there has been a shift of focus from the institution. So, we had a meeting yesterday (Monday) with FAZ and agreed on a mutual separation for now due to other commitments we have as a university. Moving forward, Eden University will be happy to come back and support football should our focus change as a university,” he said.

Kaunda, however, said the four years were exciting as history was made when a team (Napsa Stars) from the division won the Absa Cup.

“It has been an exciting four years and nothing can be taken from us that the league has greatly improved from the time we started sponsoring as sole sponsors. For the first time in the history, a team from the league won the Absa Cup and we are happy to have been part of that success story and can only wish FAZ well but also appeal to the business community to come forward and help the association take the game forward,” said Kaunda.

Meanwhile in a related development, FAZ said Livingstone Pirates will compete in the FAZ National league following the withdrawal of Gomes FC prior to the start of the season.

Kashala said Pirates are set to have their first match on Saturday at the Maramba Stadium in Livingstone.