Orange, the ANPS and the surprising check for five million FCFA…

As the saying goes quite rightly, it is better to be disappointed than to wait desperately in limbo! This Tuesday, October 25, the telephone company Sonatel – Orange, renewed its lease with the Senegalese football federation, while signing a sponsorship contract with the Senegalese Professional Football League (LSFP.)

Until then nothing abnormal, everything was going for the best in this official ceremony in the style of After work with a touch of solemnity. Only, with all these signatures, photo poses and other good intentions expressed here and there by the stakeholders, it was necessary to call on the VAR to sanction with a yellow card a fault which almost went unnoticed in the eyes of the general public…
Indeed, the false note was recorded when the general manager of Sonatel, Sékou Dramé, took out a “big” check for five million FCFA (just that!) as a subsidy to the national association of the sports press (ANPS), in view of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The gesture is commendable and above all to be perpetuated for future deadlines. Moreover, it is in all courtesy that Abdoulaye Thiam, president of the ANPS, grateful, symbolically received this financial support. “Teranga kénn douko dello (we do not refuse an offering)” we are used to saying in Senegal.

But, it must be recognized that this “subsidy” remains totally anecdotal in view of the issues of the day and the derisory sum (five million!) allocated to the said association which nevertheless weighs quite heavily on the level of the continent or even global scale. We are talking about an association that brings together almost all of the Senegalese sports press with respectable, honest journalists and, moreover, great professionals.
This financial aid of five million was more of a big surprise (in bad taste) if we know that during the last African Cup of Nations, 10 million FCFA would have been injected by Orange to support the Senegalese sports press. Why do much less for the world? How can this considerable drop be explained? How to interpret this act on the part of Orange?

If the subject is sensitive especially since it is about money, and that almost no one wanted to deliver the substance of their thoughts on this embarrassing question, bordering on taboo. It’s always good to grab the ball on the rebound, pluck up the courage to point out what’s wrong.
Among the few people who were kind enough to put a pinch of salt on Orange, we can mention François Diouf, sports journalist and eminent member of the ANPS. He finds that: “The subsidy given by Orange is derisory… I don’t know why it (the subsidy) was lowered. It is not known whether this is a drop in Orange’s turnover or some other reason. But, for a World Cup which is more expensive and more important in addition to all that represents as stakes, it is incomprehensible. »
Still in the opinion of François Diouf, the administrator of the Le Journal de Dakar site, “Beyond the money, we should review the form of collaboration by favoring the training of journalists through seminars and workshops on new technologies and others… And also trying to provide journalists with equipment (wifi box etc.) we all know the hassles we sometimes have in the field. Finally, he will still regret this: “every time we wait until the last moment to come and give these grants…”
All in all, either we decide to subsidize for real, by putting the communication and marketing aspect in the background. Either we agree to embark on a vast operation to seduce the general public. The rules of the game must be clear and known to everyone!
Let’s agree on one thing, the relationship between the ANPS and Orange has always been good and the partnership since 2004, does not date from today. Only in a relationship that wants to be long-lasting and solid, true partners tell each other the truth in the whites of their eyes, however bitter it may be! Sportingly….


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