CAIRO: Energy corporation Total is to sponsor the African Nations Cup for the next eight years in a deal which also gives it promotional rights across the 10 major CAF competitions.

The Total deal with the African football confederation begins with the 2017 Cup of Nations in Gabon from January 14 to February 5, 2017. Hence the tournament will be labelled commercially as the Total Africa Cup of Nations until at least 2024.

Total replaces French telecommunications operator Orange; MTN was the previous sponsor.

CAF president Issa Hayatou said: “This partnership is a major milestone in our ongoing search for additional resources to accelerate African football’s development, bring its governance up to date, upgrade its sports infrastructure and advance its performance globally.

“As a leading multinational in its field, with strong ties to Africa, Total will make a significant contribution to CAF’s initiatives to foster personal and professional growth for young Africans.”

Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s president and ceo, said: “We are delighted to partner with CAF, because Africa is part of Total’s makeup.

“Through this commitment, we hope to strengthen ties to our stakeholders and customers through exciting, celebratory events that are always popular, including within our own teams.”

The company says that more than 10,000 people work in all of Total’s African businesses, from oil and gas production to processing and marketing.

Aside from the Nations Cup, the sponsorship will cover the African Nations Championship (CHAN), the CAF inter-club competitions (CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Super Cup), the Youth competitions (U-23, U-20 and U-17 Africa Cup of Nations), the Women Africa Cup of Nations and the Futsal Africa Cup of Nations.