Aspirants snub political links
Sulom presidential candidates argue on clubs’ subvention
By Isaac Salima:
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) presidential candidates Tiya Somba Banda and Fleetwood Haiya have dismissed suggestions that they are being sponsored by political parties.
The two, who are contenders at Saturday’s elective Annual General Meeting in Mangochi, Wednesday faced off during an hour-long Times Talk programme on Times Radio, where they unpacked what they have in store for soccer lovers.
When programme host Brian Banda put it to them that there are rumours that they are being bankrolled by politicians, the two denied the accusation.
“That is not true. I have done many things in the sports world which I cannot be mentioning one by one. If people saw politicians during the launch of my manifesto, it is because they are stakeholders. You cannot talk about addressing challenges in sports without mentioning the Minister of Sports and that is why you saw him there,” Haiya said.
“I have never been connected to any politician, neither am I being supported by Mr Walter Nyamilandu [Football Association of Malawi President]. I work with Mr Nyamilandu as Fam President. My interest is in football development,” Somba Banda said.
The two also tussled on the issue of subvention, which is another contentious issue in the run-up to the elections.
Haiya was first to promise Super League teams that he will increase the subvention from the current K1 million to a minimum of K7 million to each team.
But Somba Banda said they have come up with the offer after being assured of support from Fam.
“TNM sponsorship was increased to K150 million per season and we agreed with TNM that the whole amount should be going to teams. And we have support from Fam and that is why we had to come up with the increase in subvention,” he said.
But Haiya was quick to dismiss his opponent, saying all these are coming up because of his manifesto.
“My manifesto has revealed that we have a lot of money in football but the question should be where was this money all along and where was the money going? I assured clubs that they can get a subvention of a minimum of K7 million and they should not be surprised that when I am elected Sulom president, we can make it to K12 million,” Haiya said.
The two also share the vision of coming up with a Sulom secretariat.
Both candidates have come up with manifestos ahead of the elections scheduled for Sunbird Nkopola.
Somba Banda is seeking a re-election after serving a single term when he was ushered into power in 2019.
On the other hand, Haiya is not a new name in football circles as he has served in different positions at Nyasa Big Bullets and Nyasa Manufacturing Company.
Three delegates from each league team are expected to vote during the elections.