Michael Essien joins MTN 2010 team
Top international footballer, Michael Essien, has signed up as the MTN 2010 Associate to fly the mobile operator's flag to the farthest corners of the world in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ taking place in South Africa from 11 June next year.
Declaring that he can't wait for 2010, the Chelsea middle-fielder and Captain of the Ghanaian national soccer team (the Black Stars) poured his heart out about his passion for Africa - pledging to up his game “to show my Africa to the world, come 2010”.
In fitting with MTN's status as the first and only global sponsor of a FIFA World Cup from Africa, Essien asserted: “I, too, am an African”.
“Although I play football in the world's most competitive league, my heart is in Africa. Like millions of others from Cape to Cairo, I can't wait to be part of the 2010 action,” said Essien.
Explaining his role as part of the MTN 2010 FIFA World Cup team, Essien said he will be communicating the message of Africa's competitiveness to deliver an event as spectacular as anything ever seen before.
“I am among a few from Africa who have made it on the international football scene. Yet, very few people from this continent get the opportunity to watch us perform. Therefore, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ will be a rare platform for ordinary people to witness the world's most talented players on the soccer pitch doing extraordinary things,” said Essien.
Explaining why he can't wait for 2010, Essien said he was looking forward to witnessing history being made as ordinary people take advantage of the unparalleled economic opportunity that the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ will bring.
Other reasons advanced by the player for his excitement about 2010 are:
Seeing Africans welcome the world at airports, fan parks, sheebens, townships, bus and railway stations;
Watching football fans from around the world partaking in African dances like pata pata, kwasa kwasa and from my own country adoaa and keti;
Seeing the colourful personalities of the world converge into one under the African sun
And, on a personal note, taking to the pitch and drowning in the uniquely African sounds of vuvuzela as they propel an African team to FIFA World Cup victory on 11 July 2010.
Says 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee Chairman, Dr. Irvin Khoza: “Michael Essien is the embodiment of a complete footballer. There can be no better face to promote African football and Africa's first FIFA World Cup across MTN's vast network on the African continent. Michael is well-endowed with tremendous football skills and is also well-mannered and a perfect ambassador for African football.”
MTN Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Nozipho January-Bardill, expressed delight at having Essien as part of the MTN 2010 team.
“Essien's meteoric rise to soccer stardom - from playing soccer on the streets of Accra to plying his trade in the world's most competitive football league in England - resembles that of MTN which has grown from being a small telecommunications operator in 1994 to being a multinational giant.
“MTN's widespread presence in Africa, also with operations in the Middle East, cannot be denied. It is truly fitting that it is the first and only African sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, with the top football icon from Africa - Michael Essien - as its proud associate,” said January-Bardill.
-Issued by MTN Group Corporate Affairs
ABOUT THE MTN GROUP
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN". As at 30 September 2008, MTN recorded 80,7 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.mtn.com and www.mtnfootball.com .
For more information contact:
MTN Group Communications
Mobile: +27 83 2122459