By Isaac Salima:
It cannot get better than this. Super League sponsors, TNM plc, have increased the sponsorship package for the elite league from K100 million to K150 million per season.
TNM acting Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Gowera said the company has committed to sponsor the league for the next three years.
This was announced Wednesday evening at a TNM Super League awards ceremony at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.
“We are excited to be associated with the development of football in the country. We will continue coming up with exciting incentives,” Gowera said.
He said there will be no increase in prize money, which is currently at K40 million, indicating that the adjusted K50 million will go towards the subvention that teams get at the start of the season.
The announcement was received with great excitement and jubilation.
No one was, visibly, more excited than Super League of Malawi President Tiya Somba Banda.
“This is good news to all football fans in the country as it reaffirms the company’s commitment towards football development in the country. We are happy that the sponsors continue to do great things in the game,” Somba Banda said.
The news could not have come at a better time than now, when teams have been asking league managers to discuss the issue of sponsorship hike with sponsors.
Principal Secretary for Youth and Sports Isaac Katopola praised TNM for being there for the country’s football fraternity.
“We cannot talk of a strong national team without having a strong national league. TNM has been there for us for the past 17 years and this sponsorship package increase just confirms their passion to develop the game in the country. I just ask Sulom to continue managing the league well,” he said.
In terms of media awards, Mabvuto Kambuwe of Times Group won the Best Analysis (online and print) award, with Joy Ndovi of Nation Publications Limited emerging as the Best Print Journalist.
Steve Liwewe of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation shone in Best Radio Commentary category, with Frank Kandu, from the same institution, emerging as Best Radio Journalist.
Others who were decorated are Best Television Journalist, Idah Mwambazi (Mibawa); Best Online Journalist, Macloyd Kudzingo (Freelancer); Best Photography (Television) Richard Issa (TV Islam); and the Best Photography (still and print) award went to Bobby Kabango of Nation Publications Limited.
Outstanding players were also awarded, with league champions Nyasa Big Bullets dominating the awards after four players went home smiling from ear to ear.
Brighton Munthali of Blue Eagles emerged as the Goalkeeper of the Season, with the Defender of the Season award going to Gomezgani Chirwa of Nyasa Big Bullets.
Best Midfielder is Patrick Mwaungulu of Nyasa Big Bullets, Rookie of the Season is Macdonald Lameck (Blue Eagles), with Babatunde Adepoju (Nyasa Big Bullets) emerging as top goal scorer.
That said, it is Gomezgani Chirwa of Nyasa Big Bullets who had the broadest smile after being named Player of the Season.