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Airtel non-committal on netball sponsorship

The future of Airtel Money Netball Trophy is unclear as Airtel Malawi says it has not finalised a review of the sponsorship.

The netball fraternity was anxiously waiting for Airtel’s posit ion now that the three-year sponsorship—worth K360 million, including for Malawi netball Queens— has ended.

Speaking during a prize-presentation ceremony in Lilongwe on Saturday, Airtel Money Country Director, Francis Matseketsa, refused to give an exact answer if the giant mobile phone operator will continue bankrolling the tournament.

“The lasting legacy of Airtel Money netball tournament has unveiled a generation of golden players; some of whom are part of the Under-20 national team. It has truly been a pleasure to be part of this journey that has helped secure Malawi’s continued success in netball worldwide,” Matseketsa said.

“I am very pleased with the way the tournament has turned out. When Airtel Money decided to get involved in netball, our goal was give people a platform to connect with their passion.”

Matseketsa added: “During our three-year sponsorship, we have seen more girls passionately take up netball and realise the power of their potential. We have seen an increase in attendance at netball games and we have seen Malawians accepting netball as one of our most treasured sport.”

Minister of Sports and Culture, Grace Chiumia, hailed Airtel for complementing government’s efforts in developing sports in the country.

Chiumia was optimistic that Airtel Money will continue bankrolling the most prestigious netball trophy. Kukoma Diamonds were crowned champions after beating rivals Tigresses 40-37 to pocket K8 million.

Blue Eagles Sisters finished third after defeating rivals Civonets 49-47 in a third-place play-off.

During the gala, despite finishing on a distant fourth position, Civonets dominated individual awards with their Rose Nkanda voted as the Best Centre, whereas Sally Nyondo scooped the Player of-the Tournament award.

Joana Kachilika of Thunder Queens was named the Best Defender of – the Tournament , whereas Alinafe Kamwala of Diamonds won the top scorer award. All the players pocketed K120, 000 each, courtesy of Airtel Money.

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