MONROVIA, 25 January 2021 – The choice of a Dutch beer over a Chinese rival as sponsor of Liberia’s biggest annual sports event has sparked a row.
Liberia’s sports ministry say they selected the Dutch beer, Heineken, over its Chinese rival, Tsingtao, for no other reason than the more generous offer by Heineken to assist with the event.
Liberia’s National County Meet is the West African nation’s most popular annual sports jamboree, bringing together football (soccer) teams – male and female – from across the country.
Promoters, importers, agents and distributors of Tsingtao, a Chinese beer, are showing no sportsmanship after losing the bid.
“Tsingtao could only afford $10,000 and Heineken came up with $15,000” making the latter “the higher bidder… plain and simple,” Liberia’s Sports Minister Zeogar Wilson explained to the BBC.
Tsingtao agents are multiplying appearances on radio and television programs to allege that the choice of Heineken reveals a lack of appreciation of the revenue for the treasury and the jobs created in the importation, distribution and sale of Tsingtao across the country.
The two beers are popular, widely available and generously consumed by Liberians many of whom have told reporters the sports ministry should have worked out a joint sponsorship involving not only the two foreign beers but also the local brewery.