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Airtel final breaks 2022 record, grosses K53.5 million

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Albert Chigoga

The 2022 Airtel Top 8 Cup final involving eventual winners Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets grossed K53.5 million in gate revenue at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday.

This is the highest gross in a domestic football competition this year.

The match between the two sides in the FDH Bank Cup semifinal at the same venue grossed K48.9 million in September.

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However, some analysts have said the figure is not a true reflection of the crowd at the stadium. Football Association of Malawi (Fam) announced that a total of K30.9 million was realised through advance ticket sales whereas K22.6 million was realised through match day ticket sales.

Advance tickets for open stands were pegged at K2,000 whereas on match day the fans were paying K3,000 for the same ticket.

According to Fam, the total revenue distributed was K42.7 million after spending a total of K10.8 million on ticketing and sales commission, security and first aid, P/A system and other service providers.

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Fam Commercial and Marketing Director Limbani Matola said he was impressed with the gate revenue.

“It is more pleasing to note that over 58 percent of the gross, thus K30.9 million in revenue, was realised from advance ticket sales. This speaks volumes that our football fans are increasingly becoming more aware of the benefits of advance tickets system,’’ Matola said.

Wanderers and Bullets each pocketed K10.6 million as their 25 percent share of the revenue.

This means Wanderers will get about K28 million in total plus prize money, having received K17 million for winning the Airtel Top 8 Cup, whereas Bullets will pocket K16 million after receiving K5.5 million as runners-up in this year’s competition.

Bullets Chief Administration Officer Albert Chigoga said the revenue was a true reflection of the crowd.

“We are very satisfied. Fam and clubs worked in unity to ensure that all the loopholes that we have been grappling with were sealed. The game was effectively promoted and the advance sale of tickets was robust,” Chigoga said.

Ground owners pocketed K10.6 million whereas Fam got K8.5 million.

Malawi National Council of Sports received K2.1million.

Sports analyst Parly Chinyama said the total gross was on the lower side compared to the huge turnout.

“We need to close all the gaps to ensure that there is no pilferage,” he said.

Wanderers won the Airtel Top 8 Cup after beating Bullets 5-3 on post-match penalties after a goal-less stalemate in regulation time.

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