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Burrell denies US$3M offer from mobile company

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:04 am    Post subject: Burrell denies US$3M offer from mobile company Reply with quote

BY ANDREW HANCEL Observer staff reporter
Sunday, January 27, 2008

LOCAL football boss, Captain Horace Burrell, is denying claims that a US$3 million three-year
deal has been offered by Latin American telecommunications giant, America Movil (AMX).

Information reaching the Sunday Observer indicates that the Burrell-led administration is
"in negotiation" with AMX, the Latin-based phone company that purchased MiPhone from
Oceanic Digital last August.

The source, speaking on conditions of anonymity, said a deal seems imminent and is
"looking like going ahead". But Burrell refuted those claims before elaborating on the
"good" long-standing relationship between the Jamaica Football Federation
(JFF) and Digicel.

"Digicel has been a loyal partner of the JFF for many years and in business I consider loyalty
as a very important factor in the success of the business," Burrell said. "We're enjoying
a wonderful relationship with Digicel... and we hope to continue this as long as possible...
because so far, Digicel has delivered," the JFF boss told the Sunday Observer by
telephone on Friday.

Meanwhile, America Movil's alleged jostling with Digicel for partnership with the JFF - with
the 2010 World Cup campaign set to start in June - is being interpreted as an attempt by the
newcomers to loosen their rival's grip on the Jamaican market.

AMX's incursion into the local telecommunications market is also seen as a counterstroke
against Digicel following the Irish-based company's foray into the Central American market -
a region which has been the financial fortress of America Movil for many years.

Last year, the JFF signed an estimated $100 million deal with Digicel as its exclusive
telecommunications partner leading up to the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa.

That stance was confirmed by Burrell, who said Digicel remains "the exclusive telecommunication
entity" for the national programme. Thoughts of a switch were quickly erased by the JFF head,
even though it is understood that the Federation would stand to gain twice as much from a pact
with AMX, which is owned by Mexican multi-billionaire Carlos Slim, one of the wealthiest men
in the world.

"The JFF... continues to enjoy good relationships with Digicel," Burrell reiterated, "and we're
looking further to strengthen these relationships, rather than looking elsewhere," he said.

Asked whether there was an approach from AMX, Burrell said his answers were clear enough and
emphasisied that the Federation is happy with Digicel, which has "delivered on all contracts"
between both parties.
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