By Mphatso Malidadi
A Round of 16 finish at the Africa Cup of Nations finals has prompted Airtel Malawi Plc to give Tecno Camon 18i Smartphones to the Malawi National Football Team players.
Airtel Malawi Managing Director Charles Kamoto presented the Smartphones to 28-Flames players on Friday night during a welcome dinner organised by Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.
Flames kit master Richard Justin Zawazawa was not left behind as he also got a Tecno Camon 18i Smartphone.
Airtel spent about K10 million on the donation that also included 40GB unlimited internet data bundle for each month for three months to each of the recipient.
During the function, Kamoto said the company honoured the Flames because of their exceptional experience at this year’s Afcon finals in Cameroon where they reached the Round of 16 for the first time.
“As Airtel, we are greatly honoured to join this treat for the Flames as they come back from Cameroon where they took part in the 2021 Afcon. We are happy for the contribution we have made so far in Malawi Football as some of the players in the team are products of the ‘Airtel Rising Stars’ youth competition which Airtel was sponsoring sometime back.
“I would like to thank the team for representing Malawi so well and making us proud for the wonderful performance. As a token of appreciation from us, we are giving a total Tecno Camon 18i to the players. On top of the Smartphones, we are also giving the team a 40GB unlimited internet data bundle for each month for three months,” Kamoto said.
Kamoto also commended Football Association of Malawi for facilitating a smooth environment to enable the company to sponsor the Airtel Top 8 Cup.
He also said Airtel Malawi was ready to support the Flames if a need arises.
Fam President Walter Nyamilandu hailed Airtel and asked other organisations to emulate the gesture.
“We are very grateful to Amaryllis Hotel for hosting us tonight and Airtel Malawi deserves a special recognition for rewarding the team.
“I would like to appeal to other companies to support football because how we embrace Malawi football will determine the future. If we invest in the welfare of the players, we can achieve more. The players have proved it because they have performed wonders in the presence of little resources,” he said.
Airtel Malawi pumped in a total to K35 million towards the Flames Afcon participation.
Blantyre came to a standstill on Friday as hundreds of fans braved the chilly rainy weather to welcome the Flames at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.
It was the first time in the history of the competition that the Flames reached the Round of 16 having been floored in the group stages in 1984 (Ivory Coast) and 2010 in (Angola).
The Flames started this year’s campaign with a 1-0 loss to Guinea before recovering to beat Zimbabwe 2-1. In the last Group B match, the Flames held giants Senegal to a goalless draw to qualify as one of the best four third-placed sides.
The Flames bowed out of the competition after losing 2-1 to Morocco-Additional reporting Patuma Tonex, Fam Media.